Philly cheese steak sandwiches and Reuben sandwiches battle it out for first place in my own private sandwich wars. Yes, I have sandwich wars, doesn’t everone? I love both, but it’s really hard to find either one done right. Keep in mind that I live in rural Arkansas. It’s hard sometimes to find good food, and just forget seafood-but that’s a whole other post.
I used to be able to buy a REALLY good cheese steak, here in Arkansas, at my old job. The owners are from Philadelphia and the husband made the absolute best Philly cheese steak sandwich I have ever eaten. People literally came for miles to get his cheese steak, but alas, the kitchen has closed. Wayne never revealed his recipe, but I know he ordered the bread from a bakery in Philadelphia and he would get a huge slab of beef and cut it himself. Oh, how I miss those sandwiches.
Today, I’m making a Philly cheese steak for you. It’s not Wayne’s recipe, it’s Rachael Ray’s. And it’s a little different because instead of just melting single slices of provolone or white american cheese, or using the “orange stuff in a can”, she made a provolone cheese sauce. When I told the butcher I was making a provolone cheese sauce he thought I was crazy. He said “I thought you said authentic Philly cheese steak.” I had to promise him I would make it with sliced white american cheese next time!
I made the provolone cheese sauce as Rachael did, original recipe here, but I did change a few other things. Her recipe calls for flat iron steaks, I used ribeye. Also, the nice butcher I mentioned earlier offered to slice it, so I took him up on that, even though Rachael’s recipe states to cook the whole steak, then slice after you cook it. I know from watching Wayne, slicing it first is a good idea. Especially since I planned on cooking mine in a cast iron skillet, not the indoor grill Rachael used. I do recommend getting the meat sliced very thin (shaved) at the market, it’s just easier and faster to cook that way. If you use flat iron steaks, or other steaks (not sliced), you can do one of two things. Either slice them while still cold, before bringing them to room temperature to cook, or bring to room temperature, cook, then let them rest a few minutes before slicing for your sandwiches.
I couldn’t find cubanelle peppers, so I substituted a green bell pepper and added mushrooms to the recipe. You can mix and match whatever veggies you like. Also, I used a hoagie roll instead of Ciabatta bread, for a more traditional cheese steak sandwich. This was one of Rachael Ray’s “30 Minute Meals”, and my alterations still fit the time frame, so it’s a great weeknight supper. Filling, family friendly and still fast and easy.
I halved the original Rachael Ray recipe and we had 3 good sandwiches. If you need more, you can easily double the ingredients I have listed. The amount of steak you need really depends on how big of an appetite your “eaters” have. The only ingredient I did not half was the jarred banana pepper rings. I used the full 1/4 cup from the original recipe. I really like banana peppers, if you do not, you can leave them out completely.
- 1 pound ribeye steak, shaved or sliced very thin
- Extra virgin olive oil, for coating steak, plus 1 tablespoon
- Grill seasoning
- ½ green bell pepper, or 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 8 oz package mushrooms, sliced
- ½ teaspoon jarred, minced garlic
- ¼ cup jarred hot pepper rings (banana pepper rings), drained
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup milk
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup grated provolone cheese
- 2 or 3 hoagie rolls
- Remove steak from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before cooking. If you are slicing yourself, slice while cold, then bring to room temperature. Coat steak with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with grill seasoning.
- Hieat grill pan or cast iron skillet to medium-high. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil onto pan, heat oil. Add green peppers, onions, and mushrooms to pan and saute. If using bell peppers, cook them for a few minutes before adding onions and mushrooms, they generally take a little longer to cook. Add the garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are tender. Add the banana pepper rings and a splash of the juice.
- Remove from heat, place vegetables in a small bowl. Cover with foil to keep warm. Warm bread in oven, if desired.
- Add the steak to the hot griddle or pan, sear and flip meat with spatula, moving meat frequently, cook about 5 minutes, until browned and cooked to desired doneness. Shaved beef cooks pretty quickly. Remove meat from pan, place on plate.
- Make cheese sauce: Heat butter in small sauce pan over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Thicken slightly for a couple of minutes, then add grated cheese. Remove from heat.
- Assemble sandwiches, place meat on warm bread, then onion mixture, then cheese sauce.
These sandwiches were so tasty, and now I’m happy I have a delicious recipe when the Philly cheese steak sandwich craving hits. Plenty of steak, cooked to order, dripping with a yummy cheese sauce and a side of cheesy potatoes. Heaven on a plate! Oh, did I say “cheesy potatoes”? Don’t worry, recipe to follow soon:)
Hope you like this recipe, thanks so much for coming by:) Di
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