Emeril’s Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

I’m popping back into my little space on the interwebs to tell you that I’m working on a very exciting project that I can’t quite share yet, but I will very soon! Insert all the excited face emojis!!

Until then, cheesesteak. Now, I’m aware that Philadelphians have this passionate raging debate about who makes the best cheesesteaks in town, and how they are supposed to made, and which cheese or something? I’m begging ignorance. I really have no idea how all that is supposed to work. I’ve never done the slightest bit of searching for those answers or forming any of my own opinions. I mean, I’m already a Dallas Cowboys fan who married into a large extended family of Philadelphia Eagles fans, so I really don’t think it’s in my best interest to go around starting cheesesteak fights on top of that.

So when a craving hit, I decided to just trust Emeril and figure his version would be awesome. Good instincts on my part, I must say. These are delicious: messy as all giant sandwiches should be, beautiful contrasts of textures, and they did taste like at least some of the Philly cheesesteaks you can get at a restaurant or take-out place. I cannot speak to the entirety of the authenticity aspect, but they have the main ingredients: soft bread, thinly sliced and seared meat, the peppers and onions – tender but never mushy, and of course cheese. I loved them.

And anyone more knowledgeable about this whole sandwich feud, feel free to educate me in the comments section!

Source: Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches by Emeril Lagasse

2 (1-pound) boneless rib-eye steaks
4 soft hoagie rolls
8 deli slices of provolone cheese
8 deli slices of good-quality American cheese (I like Applegate the best and no they did not pay me to say that)
¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large green bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp black pepper
¼ cup roughly chopped jarred cherry peppers

Wrap each steak individually in plastic wrap, place them in the freezer, and freeze about 3 hours. Don’t cheat on this step, it makes the steaks way easier to slice properly.
Remove 1 steak from the freezer and use a very sharp knife to slice it as thin as possibly, discarding any pockets of fat. Set aside and repeat with the second steak.
Preheat your oven to 300 F.
Arrange the cheese in 4 overlapping piles on a cutting board or large platter, alternating slices of provolone and American.
Heat 2 tbs oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly caramelized and tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cherry peppers, then transfer the onion and peppers to a platter or cutting board. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Now you will make two sandwiches at a time. Increase the heat under the skillet to high and add 1 tbs oil. Add half the steak slices, season them with ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Cook without stirring until most of the meat has browned on one side, about 1 minute. Stir the meat, and then divide into two cylindrical portions. Lay a shingled pile of cheese over each pile of meat. Spoon one-quarter of the onion mixture over each cheese-topped meat pile. Continue to cook in the skillet, undisturbed, for 1 minute longer, or until the cheese begins to melt from the heat of the veggies. Using a large spatula, transfer each meat portion to a bottom half of one hoagie roll. Set the two filled sandwiches on a small baking sheet to keep warm in the oven while you prepare the third and fourth sandwiches in the exact same manner you prepared the first two. Just wipe the skillet clean before you start the second batch of meat. Serve immediately.

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