The Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

Philadelphia’s most famous and iconic sandwich. Quite simply of the best classic American comfort foods out there. Thin slices of rib-eye beef, onions, peppers, cheese (Cheez-wiz or Provolone) on a dense chewy roll of bread. In fact, in Philadelphia, the sandwich is simply referred to as “The Cheese Steak”. 

The invention of the Philly Cheesesteak goes back to the 1930s when Pat Olivieri, a hot dog vendor, threw chopped beef steak on his grill and added it to a hoagie roll, to make a sandwich. A passing cab driver asked for one, Pat sold it to him for 10 cents. After eating the steak sandwich, the cab driver suggested that Olivieri quit making hot dogs and instead focus on his new chopped beef and onions sandwich.

Pat, along with his brother Harry, began selling their new steak sandwiches at their stand near South Philadelphia’s famous Italian Market. The sandwich proved very popular. By 1940, the brothers had saved enough money to open a restaurant at the same spot where they had their stand, called Pat’s King of Steaks. The two brothers worked at the restaurant for 15 to 18 hours a day for the next few decades while the restaurant was open 24 hours a day, selling their popular steak sandwich.

But the key term here is “steak sandwich.” The cheese was not part of the original recipe. So, when did the cheese arrive at the party? Legend has it that an employee Tony Lorenzo, who was tired of the same old steak sandwich recipe, decided to add cheese. Almost 20 years later! 

Thus in 1949, the cheesesteak sandwich that we know today was born in 1949.

Certain factors beyond the type of beef and cheese truly make a Philly cheesesteak. The quality of the roll is key to a cheesesteak connoisseur’s appreciation of the sandwich. Submarine rolls are the standard and ideal bread to use. It is not exactly crusty like a baguette but soft and slightly chewy. 

Like most bread of a certain restricted locality, you may find yourself limited with selection, depending on where you are in the world. Amazing alternatives include Kaiser rolls or any other Italian/French sandwich rolls.

Treat yourself this week to an American sandwich classic. Find out why it’s a classic for a reason and why it has a big reputation as being a satisfier of hearty appetites. A recipe that even serious steak connoisseur search know that every bite is worth savouring.

What you’ll need:

Tamahagane Kengata Knife

Large Heavy-based Frying Pan

Chopping board

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 400g rib eye steak 
  • 2tbsp sunflower/vegetable oil 
  • 1 white onion 
  • 1 red pepper  
  • 1 green pepper 
  • 2tbsp white wine vinegar 
  • ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.
  • ½ teaspoon of soy sauce.
  • 8 cheese slices – Provolone. Or any other cheese of choice.
  • 4 soft white sub rolls. 
  • Salt & pepper, to taste.
  • American mustard and ketchup, to serve

Instructions:

Peppers & Onion:

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan or casserole dish set over medium heat. 
  2. Add the onion and peppers along with a good pinch of salt and fry for 20 mins, or until the onions are golden and sticky. 
  3. Add the vinegar and cook for a further 5 mins. 
  4. Season to taste.

Set aside.

Beef:

Freeze the beef for 30 mins to harden it. Using the Tamahagane Kengata Knife:

  1. Slice the rib eye steak as thinly as possible.
  2. Sprinkle beef with salt & pepper.
  3. Divide the slices into four portions.
  4. Put one portion of the steak slices in the pan in a pile that’s roughly the length of your rolls. 
  5. Fry for 3 mins over high heat until some of the steak slices are cooked through, with some pink bits remaining. 
  6. Add a quarter of the onion & pepper mixture on top and mix.
  7. Add the Worcestershire and soy sauce.
  8. Lay the cheese slices on top of the meat, onion and pepper mixture.
  9. Continue to cook everything undisturbed over medium heat for 5-10 mins until the meat is brown and crisp around the edge and the cheese has melted.

Bringing it all together:

  1. Split one of the rolls open and carefully scoop the meat and cheese mixture into it. Repeat with the remaining meat, onions, cheese and rolls.
  2. Drizzle sauce evenly over beef mixture; replace top halves.
  3. Enjoy!

When handling something unique like slicing rib eye steak that has been hardened due to the freezing process and when one requires the need to slice super thin cuts of beef to re-create this recipe it is easy to see how many don’t feel daunted when holding a Tamahagane Kengata Knife in their hand.

The Kengata blade is such a versatile knife that can handle a wide variety of kitchen tasks. The profile and length of the blade are suitable for both long and short cuts, the gentle curve of the belly is ideal for chopping on a kitchen board, and the extremely sharp tip excels at tasks where precision is necessary.

The Kengata blade is part of the Tamahagane family. Many liken Tamahagane knives to luxury high-performance cars. Most likely because they share the same traits, elegant, high quality, and possessing maximum efficiency.

The Tamahagane Kengata Knife features a reverse tanto tip (also known as K-tip).has a core layer of VG-5 steel. This means that it is extremely hard and corrosion-resistant. With the blades sharpness being second to none. 

The word Tamahagane refers to the central core of a samurai sword which had to be both strong and outrageously sharp. Traditional Japanese swords were made from a material called Tamahagane; carbon steel smelted within a clay furnace. 

The traditional method of producing hardened Tamahagane steel has been refined over a thousand years and lends its name to the Tamahagane knife range. The Tamahagane Stainless Knives are high quality, extremely sharp, hard, and durable for both at home and professional use.

The distinctive yet classically designed handle is made of laminated brown Micarta handles that weighted perfectly to ensure that the knives are balanced. You’ll immediately notice how comfortable it is to hold this knife based on the ergonomic design of the handle. Other knife handles can feel quite uncomfortable which can distract you when handling the sharp blade of a knife.

Bon Appetit!

Summary
Recipe: The Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich
Article Name
Recipe: The Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich
Description
Philadelphia’s most famous and iconic sandwich. Quite simply of the best classic American comfort foods out there. Thin slices of rib-eye beef, onions, peppers, cheese (Cheez-wiz or Provolone) on a dense chewy roll of bread. In fact, in Philadelphia, the sandwich is simply referred to as “The Cheese Steak”.

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