What’s on a Philly Cheesesteak?

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Have you heard of Jim Pappas? He’s just an ordinary man who set out on an extraordinary journey to eat 1,000 cheesesteaks in the span of four years.

We like where his head’s at! It’s the perfect sandwich. And, when you toss in some french fries and ketchup on the side, you’ve found bliss.

We may not be as well versed as Jim. But we sure know what’s on a Philly cheesesteak. Get out your grocery list because we’re about to indulge.

The Bread

For a Philly cheesesteak, the best bread is a hoagie bun. “Hoagie” is a commonly used term in Philly that simply refers to a bread roll.

Your best bet here is a fresh, white bun, preferably six inches in length. Of course, some people will be able to take down a foot-long sub, but let’s start with individual six-inch cuts.

You’ll want the bread to be fresh and warm but not toasted.

The Beef

Once you’ve secured the bread, it’s time to move over to the meat department. You have three common choices when it comes to the heart of the Philly cheesesteak sandwich:

  • Flank steak
  • Rib eye
  • Sirloin
  • Skirt steak

You can either choose a fan favorite or the one that’s on sale because you’re going to cook the meat in broth. So, the likelihood it’ll come out tender is high.

Instead of cutting the meat into chunks, as you would for stew, you’ll cut it into one-inch strips.

The Cheese

You’ll find varying opinions here. We were shocked to read that certain traditional methods used spray cheese! Yes, we mean Cheez Whiz.

You can ask the experts over at boosphilly.com if you don’t believe us! (If you’re ever on the west coast and Google “Philly cheesesteak Los Angeles” they’re likely to trump the search results.)

Nowadays, you can class that up with a little bit of yellow American cheese. Or, you can choose the next most common option: provolone.

Mild provolone is your best bet here because aged provolone could overpower the sandwich.

The Onions

It’s time to round things off with a few add-ons. Like the cheese debate, you’ll find a lot of arguments for (and against) peppers and onions.

The peppers are debatable because they do have a very distinct taste. But, the thing you can’t avoid is the onions.

There are a few small details to consider here, as well: first, the onions must be white. Second, they must be caramelized.

Simply heat up a skillet, drizzle in some olive oil, and fry the onions until they take on that nice, golden color.

If you’re a fan of peppers, you’ll want those to be green. But we think we’ll draw things to a close here before we add any more fire to that great debate.

What’s On a Philly cheesesteak: Sheer Joy

The next time someone asks you, “What’s on a Philly cheesesteak?” you can respond with, “Sheer joy.”

You’ll enjoy fresh bread, tender meat, melting cheese, and the tangy kick of caramelized onions.

After you’ve treated yourself to such a delight, we invite you to keep coming back to visit our blog for more daily inspiration.

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