In search of perfection, cheese steak style…

I am a big fan of the Subway sandwich, but I feel that having lived in Philly for a year I am adequately qualified to say that the Subway ‘Steak and Cheese’ is an exceptionally poor substitute for a proper Philly Cheese Steak; in fact it sucks…

Now a cheese steak does not really have too many ingredients, cheese and steak obviously, but also the bread and onion and oil that you cook the steak in. My dissatisfaction with the Subway alternative has led me on a quest to recreate the perfect cheese steak, or get as close as I can this side of the Atlantic…

Onions are pretty easy to get hold of, I find slicing a large onion works best in a cheese steak, dicing it just means it all falls out!

Rib-eye steak is readily available in the UK and I have found that if I ask my butcher to hammer it flat for me it is really easy to recreate the ‘shaved’ beef of a cheese steak with a sharp knife. I find sunflower oil flavours the beef less than plain old vegetable oil and olive oil give a cheese steak a strange aftertaste – avoid it!

Cheese whizz is not so easy to come by, but I find a mild cheddar to be just the job – as I cook the steak in a wok and not on a flat plate as in Philly, I find grating the cheese into the wok near the end of cooking gets the steak evenly coated in the cheese with enough left over to moisten the bread….

And that leads me on to what should be the simplest to find, but is proving the hardest to source; a decent soft hoagie style roll. It is frustrating as the other ingredients are pretty much there, but without the hoagie roll to finish it off, I am just left with a pile of cheesy steak mess! That said, the mess still tastes pretty good in the middle of a French stick – so until I find that perfect hoagie roll I guess it is le steak fromage for now…

Other things I miss about Philly, other than the friends I made there, WaWa!

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Posted in Food
2 comments on “In search of perfection, cheese steak style…
  1. Love a good cheese steak. Steaks on South is my favorite.

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