Where did the cheesesteak originate?
As legend has it, Pat Oliveri, a hot dog vendor in Philadelphia, invented the first Philly Cheesesteak in 1930. Pat decided one day that he didn't want to eat the same old boring hot dogs he had every day for lunch, so he cooked up some beef from a nearby butcher and stuffed it inside an Italian hoagie bun. A cab driver rode by, smelled the intoxicating scent, and asked to buy the brand-new sandwich. He loved it so much he told Pat to quit the hot dog biz and focus on the cheesesteak.
What’s in a cheesesteak sandwich?
It’s all in the name! The traditional Philly cheesesteak combines thinly sliced and grilled ribeye steak, melted Provolone cheese, caramelized onions, and a crusty hoagie roll.
But wait, haven’t we had cheesesteaks with other stuff—sautéed mushrooms and bell peppers as well as the caramelized onions? You probably have, but those are additions from the West Coast and are not considered part of the authentic Philly recipe. Nevertheless, it’s your sandwich, and you can make it as you wish. We also love adding mushrooms, peppers, mayonnaise, and even banana peppers. Let’s have fun with it!
Meat, cheese, veggies…oh my!
You can use other cuts of steak besides ribeye—some folks like to use sirloin or flank steak. You can also try different cheeses— Swiss, Havarti, Mozzarella, Muenster, or pretty much any white cheese will be tasty. We’ve even heard of places in Philadelphia using Cheez Whiz if you want to go out on a whim.
Gather your chosen ingredients
You can make cheesesteaks as simple as just a hoagie roll and steak. However, if you feel adventurous, add bacon to your finished cheesesteak for added crunch. You can also experiment with different types of cheese and various veggies mixes: onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, banana peppers, jalapeños, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, aioli, or even hot sauce!
You’ll need a pound of steak per four sandwiches, and the meal should take about thirty minutes to prepare—less if you aren’t using any veggies that have to be chopped and grilled. Here's how it's done...
- 1 pound of steak, thinly sliced (We recommend Ribeyes)
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 sweet onion, sliced
- 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
- 4 slices of provolone cheese
- Jalapeños (optional)
- Bacon (optional)
- Banana peppers (optional)
- Mayonaise (optional)
Prepare the hoagie rolls – Choose a nice soft roll, not a crusty baguette or French bread. You’ll be toasting these but still want softness inside. Slice the rolls in half as needed, and spread with softened butter that you’ve mixed with garlic spice. Grill them on your griddle or skillet on medium heat until golden brown, then set aside.
Prepare the veggies – You should sauté the veggies in vegetable oil or butter to make them super soft - no crunchy veggies here! Add 1 tablespoon of oil or butter to the pan and sauté them with sea salt and pepper to taste. Start the onions first, so they have time to caramelize into that jammy goodness we all love, then add in the bell peppers and thinly sliced mushrooms (if using). Set the veggies aside once they’re soft.
Prepare the meat – Choose a well-marbled steak for optimal juiciness and tenderness and one that can be sliced very thinly. Make sure your knife is sharp, and freeze the meat beforehand to get optimal thin slices. Thinly slice the steak into strips and add it to a hot skillet with butter. Don’t forget to use a light dusting of sea salt and pepper on the steak as you cook it.
Mix it all together – When the steak is cooked to your liking, mix in your veggies so that all the flavors can melt together.
Assemble the cheesesteak – Spread the grilled part of your bread with a thin layer of mayonnaise, if desired. Use a spatula to scoop the cheesesteak filling into each roll and plate your sandwiches. Now is the time to add other condiments if desired. Banana peppers will add a nice tang, and jalapeños will add some spice (you could also grill your jalapeños into the veggie mix if you’re sure everyone will enjoy that heat). Top your sandwich with your desired cheese, and pop them into a warm oven (or grill) to melt the cheese.
- Bon Appetit – Now call everyone to the table to eat while it’s hot, and enjoy your yummy cheesesteaks!
If you order your steaks from Market House they'll arrive frozen and ready to slice. Both our USDA Choice grass-fed ribeyes and our USDA Prime ribeyes are well-marbled throughout and arrive at your doorstep frozen, making them perfect for Philly cheesesteaks the very day they’re delivered. We’re all about time-saving! Don’t forget to use a light dusting of sea salt and pepper on the steak as you cook it. Always start with the best ingredients for the best meals.