Cook up a classic Philly sandwich

Metro Creative Services
A classic Philly sandwich.

Courtesy Metro Creative Services A classic Philly sandwich.
Metro Creative Services

Cheesesteaks are decadent sliced beef sandwiches covered in gooey cheese and served on crusty rolls. According to Philadelphia's official tourism site, Pat Oliveri invented the cheesesteak in the 1930s. Oliveri was a hot dog vendor who decided to grill beef from the butcher and put it on an Italian roll. A cab driver smelled the creation and asked for the sandwich. Word spread about this new concoction, and soon lots of customers were coming by for their own. Oliveri opened up Pat's King of Steaks on 9th Street soon after. Cheese was added later to the sandwiches in the 1940s after a suggestion from manager Joe Lorenza.

Cheesesteaks have become synonymous with Philadelphia. In fact, there is a fierce rivalry between Pat's and Geno's, which is another cheesesteak restaurant that opened across the street from Pat's in 1966 and claims they were the first to add cheese to the steak. Fierce loyalties to both of these restaurants stand today in Philadelphia. However, a person doesn't have to take sides when he or she makes cheesesteak at home. This recipe, courtesy of chef Robert Irvine and the Food Network®, is easy and quick.


Makes 4 sandwiches


2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

4 9-inch sub rolls

2 pounds shaved beef, such as ribe eye or sirloin

12 thin slices provolone

In a large saute pan or griddle, heat the oil over medium-high heat for 1 minute, and then add the onions, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook the onions until caramelized, stirring throughout the process, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove and keep warm.

Spread the softened butter on the interiors of the rolls and cook, butter-side down, on a griddle until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the rolls, add the raw steak to the griddle and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook briefly, shedding the meat into small pieces with two metal spatulas. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes.

Portion the meat into 4 piles, and top each pile with 3 slices of the provolone. Continue to cook until the cheese melts (putting the lid and adding a little water to the pan can help with this step). Cover each pile with a browned roll, and slice a spatula under the meat to pick it up with the roll.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment