Contains: Dairy. Is: Gluten-free, grain-free, nightshade-free, primal.
I have never eaten a true Philadelphia cheesesteak. Oh, I got served things with that name at both the college and the workplace cafeterias, long buns with a smattering of dried out meat of uncertain grade, with a Cheeze Wizz addendum.
My one trip to Philadelphia was a class day trip undertaken when I was (probably) in the 5th grade. I think we just got sandwiches or maybe even our parents made our lunches to send with us. We got to see the crack on the Liberty Bell and we got to pick up facsimiles on crunchy paper of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and things like that. Sampling food wasn’t on the radar for that trip.
Haven’t been back.
I’m calling this the “Un-Philly” because I understand there’s a lot of inaccurate “Philly” cheesesteaks out there. Well, starting with those awful cafeteria concoctions. I don’t want to add to the crowd of wannabes, but… And, because I don’t like those big hunks of bread anyway, I decided – why not create my own variant, but just not really pretend to give it the name of Philly Cheesesteak???
So what I did:
Used NY strip steak because it was available. (The typical is ribeye, so sub that in if you have it and want… — frankly, I do have ONE last ribeye in my freezer from my meat share, but since it’s my favorite fancy cut of steak, I’d rather have it as a nice medium rare steak, not turned into this dish. Um, sorry, sorta….)
Used Romaine lettuce instead of a heavy bun or loaf. My theory on bread is that I don’t want to waste the carb intake on something that doesn’t really taste that good — there ARE good breads out there, and I WILL buy them (and even go back to making them myself), but finding a good tasting bun without a rap-sheet’s length of dodgy ingredients in a supermarket is iffy at best. There is a great bakery about 40-45 minutes from here, and another about an hour and a half away. Eh, let’s go truly grain-free and do lettuce. Only had to drive 20 minutes! Romaine is of the approximate shape for this meal. Lettuce tastes better (to me) than supermarket breads. And, at the moment, Romaine’s not on recall!
Used provolone cheese. According to what I’m reading, the most appropriate cheeses for a true Philly cheesesteak are either white American cheese OR provolone. Score one for the home team! At least I have this in place. Cheeze Wizz is apparently mostly for the tourists, but even if it weren’t, I’m NOT touching that stuff!
I used sautéed onions. This seems to be a valid way to make a Philly cheesesteak, but ends up in an optional area for this treat. I’d definitely say “yes!”
So, well, the end result is that I still haven’t eaten an authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak, but I’m more than happy with my “un-Philly”, anyhow!
Prep Time: 10 minutes.
Cook Time: 20 minutes.
Rest Time: de nada
Serves: One each.
Leftovers: Cook the meat and onions, just don’t assemble. Reheat that part briefly, add the cheese, then plate onto the lettuce and devour.
The “Un-Philly” Cheesesteak
- 5 ounces / 150 grams of thinly-sliced beef steak (after any fat cap removal). Ribeye is traditional, I used NY strip.
- 1/2 small onion, sliced and chopped.
- 2 slices provolone cheese.
- 1 tablespoon butter or avocado oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste – I used probably 1/16th a teaspoon of the former – if that, and maybe 1/8th teaspoon of the latter. (Let your own tastes be your guide!)
- Two nice leaves of Romaine lettuce.
A hint for the steak – freeze for about 45 minutes prior to slicing, this will help you make thinner slices. If you have a deli slicer (lucky you!) you can probably even get the slices thinner, but not essential. You definitely want to discard any fat cap or fatty regions.
Add the salt and pepper to the beef, mix a bit, and let sit at room temp for around 20 minutes.
Take the butter or avo oil, and heat in a skillet on medium. When the butter or oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent, or even a little bit brown.
Add the beef to the skillet and saute for 5 or 8 minutes, or to your preferred level of done-ness.
Drape the cheese over for another 30 or so seconds.
Using a spatula, fold the meat and onions with cheese into a Romaine leaf, arranging everything to your satisfaction.
Cover with the second leaf and serve. You probably won’t be able to eat this with your hands, so have a knife and fork at the ready.
This was quite good! I’m very glad I didn’t try to find some appropriate bread, but that’s up to you. If you do use bread, I’d want to toast it in the skillet. And this dish is reasonably fast to make, good on a hot evening.
Wandering over to be shared with Fiesta Friday (with tasty co-hosts Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Rita @ Parsi Cuisine),.
Farm Fresh Tuesdays,
as well as
The Homestead Blog Hop,
Full Plate Thursdays,