Philly Cheesesteak

I’ve never had a real Philly Cheesesteak before, the sad part is that I actually have been to Philidelphia. Granted, I was 15 and wandering around with the rest of the Lions Band geeky kids, all of us dressed in our red, white, and blue polos. Don’t judge, we were pretty awesome. We didn’t really have the opportunity to go discover any Philly restaurants.

But a few years ago, Josh and I wanted to recreate one. We did a fair bit of googling. Do you realize how many different types of philly cheesesteaks there are? Seriously. Sliced cheese, liquid cheese, cheesewhiz. Hoagie bun, sub bun, toast. No veggies, lots of veggies, ONLY veggies. It goes on and on and on.

We make ours with peppers, onions, and mushrooms. And fennel, lots of fennel!

Peppers and Mushrooms fixed
Plus, we had all these pretty veggies sitting in the fridge!

So we just pretty much went with our gut and gave it a shot. We’d always went the sliced cheese route, until we decided to use the same cheese sauce we use for mac and cheese (when we actually make it at home). So, of course, I grabbed my phone and snapped away thinking this would be a good “first recipe welcome back!”

Without further ado…

finished fixed

Philly Cheesesteak Subs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Bake Time 5 minutes optional

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 medium sized red pepper (sliced)
1 medium sized green pepper (sliced)
1 medium sized red onion (sliced)
4 oz (1/2 container) Portabella Mushrooms (sliced)
1 TBS EVOO
3 TBS fennel seed
***1 pkg (6 slices) Beef Sizzlers ***
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
***1 cup shredded cheese ***
2 cups milk
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Salt, pepper to taste

***Ok, you don’t have to use the Beef Sizzlers. That just happens to be what we have always grabbed… plus ribeye (which is what’s typically used) is super expensive around here. If you are using ribeye, just start with this thinly sliced. Nearly as thin as you can get.

Also subsitute whatever cheese you would like. We used a mix of shredded cheddar and colby jack.***

Start with the cheese sauce

Cheesesauce fixed

1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter on medium low heat. Once it’s all melted add the flour. This is making a roux (“roo” not “roo-xkssss. My bad)
2. Stir this around until it’s started to turn a light shade of brown.
3. Slowly add 1/2 the milk that you have. The pan will hiss like crazy, but you’re ok.
4. Increase the heat on the stove to about medium. (You can go ahead and start at medium, but this way I’m not worried about scalding the milk.)
5. Add the cheese slowly. Add a bit, stir until melted, add a bit more, stir until melted. Continue this until all the cheese is melted.
6. At this point, your sauce will start getting thicker. Add the last bit of you milk along with the chopped parsely. Whisk to incorperate.
7. Once it starts bubbling return to medium low heat. Stirring occasionally, while you begin your veggies and beef.

And now the meat

Meat fixed 2
Give you and idea of what I mean by “shredding”

1. Heat the EVOO in a saute’ pan at medium heat. Add your peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until just about tender.
2. Add your sizzlers (or ribeye) to the veggies. While this is cooking make sure you are shredding the beef. Be careful not to completely destroy your veggies in the process (guilty). The easiest way I’ve found for this is to hold the beef with the spatula and attack it with a fork. Or tongs. Or wooden spoon. Ok, ok, whatever utensil is close by. But I still manage to mangle it…so I do them separately. Josh is the meat pro here.
3. Add your fennel and cook until the meat is no longer pink, this is quick. Only about 3-4 minutes.

There you have it, bon appitete

So now, all you need to do is stuff your filling into just about anything (sub buns, pitas, hoagie rolls, etc) and top with the cheese sauce. If you want, and I really suggest, throw your buns in the oven for about 5 minutes at 250 degrees so they’re nice and warm and crispy at the edges.

Seriously, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to sliced cheese. Gotta be the cheese sauce. All the way.

And the veggies are pretty much amazing. I’m a sucker for peppers and fennel. It reminds me of the the fair. In my perfect world, all fair food would be covered in saute’d peppers and fennel. Seriously, I adore it. Every once in a while I’ll just skip over the beef and go straight vegetable.

Now, the meat is fairly greasy. I’m pretty sure that using a different meat, like ribeye, would be A) healthier and B) less sloppy. If you’re worried about how greasy this is, you can defintely go ahead and make the meat first and pull it off to drain. Just lay it on a plate with napkins on it, throw it back in with the veggies for the last minute to warm it back up. Entirely your choice.

But all-in-all, this is defintely a go-to dinner for us especially when we’ve had a super busy day.

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If you tried this recipe did you add anything? Change anything? Let me know in the comments!