It is rare that I eat out at a restaurant, but when I do, as with everyone I presume, I want to be satisfied with the flavour of my purchase.
One dish I have found that has always fallen short of this, no matter where I purchase it, is the classic Philly cheesesteak sandwich. The idea of having a sandwich that is overloaded with meat, onions, peppers, and dripping with cheese is enough to have any mouth salivating with anticipation. I feel my let-downs however lie in the process of the cooking technique and usually a lack of seasoning.
Because of the discouragements I have experienced, I set out to create the best Philly cheesesteak sandwich. And the result? This is it. Enjoy!
Grilled Philly Cheesesteaks
Makes 6 large sandwiches
“This grilled version of the classic Philly cheesesteak has incredible “flame licked” flavour that would be non-existent in the traditional way of preparing it in a pan. I find the addition of mayonnaise is extremely important for not only adding richness, but also to help enhance the gooey drippy effect that a classic cheesesteak should
2 pounds (908g) boneless rib-eye steaks
2 medium onions, sliced into 4 thick rounds each
2 red bell peppers, sliced into big pieces
Canola, vegetable or grape seed oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup butter
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
6 oval hoagie type buns
12 tbsp mayonnaise
360g provolone cheese slices
1. Preheat your barbecue to high heat. Oil the steaks with 3 to 4 tsp of the oil and then season liberally with salt and pepper. Toss the prepared onions and peppers with 1 tbsp of the oil.
2. Turn the heat on your barbecue to medium or medium/high and grill the steaks until your desired doneness, approximately 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium (depending on the temperature of the steaks and the power of your barbecue). Grill the onion and pepper slices at the same time just until they are somewhat charred and cooked through. Remove the steaks, onions and peppers and set aside.
3. Melt the butter, mix with the garlic and set aside.
4. Slice the peppers into thin strips and rough chop the onions. Toss these pepper and onion pieces together with the Worcestershire and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
5. Slice the steaks into very thin strips and toss with the reserved garlic butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
6. Prepare the buns by placing the cut side down on the grill to toast them. Remove and then spread 1 tbsp of mayonnaise on each the top and bottom toasted halves of the buns.
7. Top each open bun with equal amounts of the reserved steak slices, then equal amounts of the reserved onion/pepper mix, and then equal amounts of cheese slices. Place the open faced sandwiches on a baking sheet and broil in the oven until the cheese is thoroughly melted. Serve immediately.
Chef Dez is a food columnist, culinary travel host and cookbook author. Visit him at www.chefdez.com or write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 2674, Abbotsford, BC, V2T 6R4