The Philly Cheesesteak has been on my foodie bucket list for quite some time, and I’ve always wanted to get out to Philadelphia to have the authentic Cheesesteak experience. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, with the world currently in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and some other personal circumstances it doesn’t look like I’ll get there any time soon.
So, rather than go out to experience the Philly Cheesesteak, I thought I would do the second best thing for now and that’s to bring the Philly Cheesesteak experience to me by re-creating it at home.
If you don’t know what a Philly Cheesesteak is, then it’s a lovely soft Italian-style long roll filled with thinly-sliced fried steak, onions and melted cheese. The cheese is sometimes a processed cheese sauce or, in this case, it’s slices of melted Provolone Cheese. It can also sometimes be served with thinly sliced fried mushrooms or green peppers, but I chose to forgo these on this occasion.
In order to get the full-on Philly Cheesesteak experience, I also decided to make the Italian long rolls from scratch as well. The end result was, well, you can see for yourself but for a British guy that had never had a Cheesesteak before, I was pretty chuffed with how it turned out!
Philly CheesesteakPrint Recipe
- For the cheesesteak:
- 245g Ribeye Steak
- 1 x Brown Onion
- Provolone Cheese
- Olive Oil
- For the bread:
- 500g Strong White Bread Flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 7g Yeast
- 200ml Water
- 150ml Milk
- 2 Tsp Salt
- Polenta (for dusting)
For the rolls, warm up the the water and milk in the microwave until lukewarm. Then add in the yeast and sugar and stir in until combined. Leave for 10 minutes to become active and bubbly.
In a stand mixer - or large bowl - add in the flour and salt, mix these together, and then add in the yeasty liquid. Mix together in a rough dough (on a low speed if using a stand mixer) and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
Come back to dough and knead it for a good ten minutes until the dough becomes soft and elastic. Cover and leave to prove and double in size for about an hour.
Divide the dough into four equal pieces.
Shape each piece into a rough rectangle and shape into a long sausage shape around 6 or 7 inches long by folding and tucking the dough over. (See video for reference)
Pinch and seal underneath each roll, and then place onto a banking tray dusted with flour and polenta. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for an hour or until doubled in size.
An hour before cooking your cheesesteak, place the ribeye steak into the freezer to firm it up a little.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°c/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
When doubled in size, dust with a little flour and polenta, and then place into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a lovely golden brown. Leave to cool.
For the cheesesteak, peel and halve the onion and cut into a large dice.
Add some olive oil to the pan, and gently fry the onions for 5 to 10 minutes until they become translucent and get a little colour.
Very thinly slice the ribeye steak, and fry in the pan next to the onions until browned.
Combine the steak and onions together, and season well with salt and pepper.
Shape the steak and onions into a pile roughly the same size of one of your rolls. Lay over your slices of provolone cheese, and place over the lid of a pan to allow it to melt.
Cut one of your rolls in half - but not all the way through - and place over your cheesesteak filling and scoop up the filling into your roll.
Add any sauces you wish - or none at all - and enjoy!