In my head there are lunchtime sandwiches and dinner sandwiches. The main difference between them is size. There is something fun about a huge sandwich and they appear regularly on my weekday menu. I love a sandwich that is messy to eat and requires effort to get your face around. I first ate a Philly Cheesesteak on holiday in 2000 in a fairly non-descript New York diner. My sandwich arrived unceremoniously plonked in a plastic basket, but as I unwrapped the greaseproof paper I was greeted by the beautiful sight of a toasted bun crammed full of steak smothered in cheese. Twenty years on I still measure every Philly Cheesesteak I make against that perfect New York lunch.
Serves 2 Adults
2 bake at home sourdough rolls
200g ribeye or sirloin steak
1 small onion
1 green pepper
2 slices gouda
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
- Heat the oven to 220° (200° fan) to bake the bread according to package instructions. The filling will be ready by the time the bread is baked.
- Trim the fat from the steak. I know this is sacrilege but the fat won’t render quickly enough to become crispy so it’s best to remove it to stop the steak becoming chewy. Slice the steak into 1-2cm wide strips.
- Peel the onion then cut in half and finely slice. Core the pepper and finely slice. The pepper adds an essential bitterness to this sandwich.
- Put the olive oil in a large skillet on a medium high heat. Add the onions and pepper to the hot pan and grind over with salt. Stir regularly for 5-8 minutes until the veggies are soft. Lower the heat if the onions are browning too fast.
- Once the veggies are softened move them to one side of the pan to make space to cook the steak (this saves on washing up). Season the steak with salt and pepper then add to the hot pan leaving as much space between the strips as possible (this stops them becoming chewy). The pan should be hot enough to cook the meat in 60-90 seconds on one side. Turn the pieces of meat and cook for another minute then stir the meat and veggies together.
- Turn the heat off under the pan. Divide the mixture into two piles and cover each pile with a slice of gouda. Leave the cheese to melt while you prepare the bread.
- Take the bread out of the oven and carefully open the bread from the top. This will make a little pocket for the filling to sit in. Add a smear of ketchup or mustard if you like then scoop up the beef mixture and fill the bread with Philly Cheesesteak goodness.