Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Beef, Main Courses, Sandwich / Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Once you’ve had three Thanksgiving meals in three different cities, you enter a zone where your next meal needs to be the complete and total opposite of turkey and dressing. A light palette cleanser, perhaps? Maybe a crisp, refreshing sorbet?

Oh, HELL no.

When you’re serious about hitting the reset button on your palette and your appetite, you’ve really got to go with something like a Philly Cheesesteak. Something packed with beef and onions and peppers and, yes, Cheez Whiz.


I’m not a huge fan of processed foods, either, but an authentic cheesesteak requires an ample slathering of the orange stuff.

‘Tis the season.

When in Rome.

Oh, just do it.

We don’t have a griddle, so Jeff and I double-teamed the sandwiches using two cast-iron skillets. I sauté the onion and green pepper slices in Skillet 1, while Jeff slices and cooks the steak in Skillet 2. The process takes a little more than five minutes. Once the steak is done, I transfer the vegetables to Skillet 2, toss everything together, and pile the mixture into two warm sandwich rolls (split in half vertically, like hot dog buns). Then Jeff dips a spatula in the Cheez Whiz and runs it over the meat and vegetables. And that’s not a euphemism.

After bellying up to untold casseroles and sweets, taking that first bite of gooey, peppery cheesesteak was something to be thankful for, indeed. If only the pilgrims had had Cheez Whiz.

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse (Food Network)

Makes 2 sandwiches

  • 2 fresh Italian sandwich rolls, split in half vertically
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound rib-eye steak, very thinly shaved or sliced
  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced white American cheese or Provolone OR 4 ounces melted Cheez Whiz
  • Garnish: Italian pickled peppers
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Place the rolls on a baking sheet, and warm them in the oven.
  2. In the meantime, heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add oil, onions and bell peppers, and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Push off to 1 side of the griddle.
  3. Add the meat to the hot pan and cook, stirring and breaking up with the back of 2 metal spatulas, until almost no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Mix in the sauteed vegetables.
  4. If you’re using cheese slices, lay them on top of the meat and vegetable mixture, and melt. Spoon the cheesy meat mixture into the warm buns.
  5. If you’re using Cheez Whiz, put the meat and vegetable mixture in the bun, dip a spatula in the Cheez Whiz, and wipe the spatula down the inside of the bread. Serve immediately.

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24 thoughts on “Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

  1. Ohhh this is making me so nostalgic! I haven't had a real cheesesteak in forever! My friends who aren't from the east coast get so weirded out by cheez whiz, but it's totally necessary!

  2. Cheeze Whiz is the only way to go with Philly cheesestakes. that's why they are such a treat. I mean, normally I'd never eat fake orange goo, but somehow it absolutely makes the sandwich!

  3. Gotta have it "wit wiz." Normally I am appalled by the orange pasteurized processed cheese food, but not on a steak sandwich! My boyfriend is from Eastern PA and has turned me into a fan! Now, bring on the tasty kakes!

  4. Ok. Not to be a hater, but I was born and raised in Philadelphia (and have now defected to California). The cheez whiz is actually only served in ummmm… less desirable areas. I am not a fan. You are right about how thin the meat should be sliced. Most places actually slice it on a lunch meat slicer. Further, the only peppers that are involved are sweet or hots. You are right on with the onions though. A lot of people like mushrooms too (not me).

    Amy is right about one thing…. Nobody bakes a cake as tasty as a Tastykake!

    1. I was TOTALLY ready for someone to mention the peppers, so I don't feel hated on. I've had trouble finding the hot peppers, but I know what you're talking about. The Chicago Italian-Style Beef place here piles them on their sandwiches. Maybe I can order extra and just store them for my next cheesesteak.

      Tastykake? I've heard of them but never had one. Wonder if you can order them online…

    2. Im a native Philadelphian too…I agree Provolone is the Original cheese.for Philly cheese steaks. Cheese Whiz only apeared in mid 50s,

  5. I love making home made Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, but don't do it too often. This may have to go on the menu for our Sunday lunches! Thanks for sharing this, really got me drooling :)

  6. "And that’s not a euphemism" ROTFLMAO

    And yeah, you're right. You just have to do Cheese Whiz to be authentic with this, but sometimes I just can't resist using provolone. Great looking sandwich.

  7. Well folks I love a god Cheese Whiz cheese steak too but have to point out an original Philly Cheese Steak predates cheese whiz by over 30 years. Cheese Whiz was invented in 1953 well after Philly Cheese Steaks were made popular. The AUTHENTIC Philly Cheese Steak is made with Sharp Provolone. Today Cheese Whiz is the more popular option of the three standard cheeses used, Provolone and American being the other two most used.

    Don't forget the roll! It Easy to get the meat right Shaved Serloin, the rolls are only available from Philly area it aint a Philly Cheese Steak without the right Roll!

  8. Looks wonderfully delicious, altho never done it with peppers before, but know Mark would love that, so must try. And, justsoyouknow, I would never, never judge you on preferred cheese or cheese product on the Philly. Never.

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