Perhaps one of the best dishes to stem from American cooking techniques is the Philly cheesesteak. This delicious sandwich, classically composed of sliced rib-eye meat on a hoagie roll, has a rich history in the city for which it is named, and has become a national culinary treasure. Fox News notes that the cheesesteak was invented by a hot dog vendor in the 1930s, but cheese was not added to the iconic handheld until the ’40s. Today, cheesesteak joints serve up hot, cheesy goodness across the country, but these sandwiches are also easy to make at home. Here are four tips for making delicious Philly cheesesteaks in your own kitchen:
1. Freeze your meat
Don’t allow the meat to freeze all the way through, but placing your rib-eye in the cold temperatures of your freezer for half an hour or so will make it easier to cut into thin slices. This will add to the overall texture of your Philly cheesesteak, and give you the ability to sear your meat quickly.
2. Choose your texture
A lot of the texture and flavor is going to stem from how you prepare your cheese. You can always just melt a few slices of provolone over your meat, but also consider making a creamy cheese sauce that will provide flavor and texture evenly throughout your sandwich. For example, chef Bobby Flay of the Food Network has a Philly cheesesteak recipe that includes provolone sauce composed of parmesan, salt and pepper.
3. Know how to really caramelize your onions
Sauteeing your onions is great, but you’ll be missing out on a lot of nuanced flavor if you don’t truly caramelize them. Common mistakes when caramelizing onions include turning up the heat to try and speed up the process, neglecting to deglaze, taking the onions out after they brown and placing too many onions in the pan at once, according to Bon Appetit. Remember, true caramelization can take anywhere from half an hour to 45 minutes, and requires patience.
4. Learn how to bake bread
A great Philly cheesesteak requires a delicious, fresh hoagie roll. By learning to bake bread at home, you’ll be able to pull golden, warm rolls directly from the oven when you put together your sandwich. Hoagie rolls are relatively easy to make, but do require a few hours for the dough to rise, so make sure to begin working on your dough well prior to meal time.