Philly cheesesteak is one of the best sandwiches ever! All that meat and melt-y cheese is super comforting. Here's a recipe for an authentic philly cheesesteak, and a homemade bun recipe to boot!
I was first introduced to the philly cheesesteak when I was dating my husband. His father is American and my husband grew up with these amazing sandwiches on rotation. How lucky was he? I was immediately hooked on the philly cheesesteak and learned to make it just as well as they do in the US. Here are some tips so you can make this tasty sandwich in your own home:
What is a philly cheesesteak?
A philly cheesesteak is a sandwich consisting of very thinly sliced beef and gooey, melt-y cheese. You can also add caramelized onions, bell peppers and mushrooms if you like. This sandwich was created in the early 20th century in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and quickly became very popular. You can now find the sandwich at food carts and restaurants all through the United States.
What cut of beef should I use?
Traditionally, rib-eye steak is used as it is well marbled and tender when cooked. We like to use top sirloin steak though because my husband doesn't like a lot of fat in his philly cheesesteak. Also the price of steak is a lot cheaper!
Which is the best cheese for a philly chessesteak?
Our house prefers provolone cheese. It has a mild taste and melts really great. We have use mozzarella cheese in a pinch, but it is no where near as tasty as provolone cheese. Another type of cheese that is very popular for cheesesteaks is cheez-whiz. I have not personally tried that though.
Tips for slicing beef:
The key to a great philly cheesesteak is very thinly sliced beef. You can order this from your butcher or you can do it yourself by freezing the beef for 30 minutes. Use a very sharp knife to cut thinly against the grain.
How to make a philly cheesesteak:
Once you have your bun made, (or buy store bought), this meal comes together within 20-30 minutes!
- Place your beef in a hot skillet over medium heat, turning once to cook it through fully
- Add salt and pepper to your taste
- Using 2 wooden spatulas, tear up the beef into tiny pieces
- Turn the heat down to low once the beef has been cooked through, and then layer provolone cheese on top of the beef
- Cover the beef and cheese with a lid or aluminum foil so the cheese will melt easily
- Spread mayonnaise on the buns and then scrape the beef/cheese goodness into your buns
Tips for making the homemade buns:
These homemade buns are absolutely perfect for cheesesteaks. They don't get soggy with the filling as many soft buns do. Here are some tips to make the perfect bun for a philly cheesesteak:
- Be careful not to use too much flour in your dough. Add just enough that the dough comes together and scrapes clean the sides of your bowl. The dough should be sticky once you knead in the olive oil.
- Add the olive oil in last as per the recipe. Adding in the oil too soon will inhibit the gluten.
- Spray water inside the oven as the buns bake. This will help the buns rise fully before forming a crust.
More easy dinner recipes:
- SIMPLE EGG SALAD SANDWICH
- PIEROGI CASSEROLE
- MEAT AND POTATO PIE
- SPICY ITALIAN SAUSAGE PENNE
- PIZZA RICE CASSEROLE
Philly Cheesesteak with Homemade Bun
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 ⅓ cups water warm
- 3-4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing on the rolls
- 2 pounds beef very thinly sliced (rib-eye or sirloin steak)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-6 slices provolone cheese
- Add yeast, sugar and water into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment. Let that sit for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
- Weigh 500g of flour into a small bowl. Add half of that flour into the stand mixer bowl. Add in salt and knead the dough on low speed.
- Keep adding in a bit of flour at a time, until the dough has come together and cleans the sides of the bowl.
- Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and add olive oil to the dough. Knead the dough to incorporate the olive oil. It will be very sticky.
- Grease a large bowl and place the dough inside. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough and place it onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide it into 6 pieces. Form the pieces into 5 inch lengths and place them a couple of inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Drape the baking sheet loosely with greased plastic wrap. Greasing the plastic wrap helps it not stick to the rolls and deflate them. Let them sit until they have doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Fill a clean spray bottle with water.
- Using a very sharp knife, gently cut a ¼ inch deep slit down the length of the rolls.
- Place the tray into the oven and spray water inside the oven before closing the door. The water will help the rolls fully rise before forming a crust. Spray every few minutes, 2-3 times. Bake for 10 minutes before reducing the oven to 400°F. Bake for another 20-25 minutes until the buns are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap them.
- Allow buns to fully cool on a wire rack. The buns are best eaten the day they are made.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add steak slices and let them brown on one side. Flip them over and brown the other side.
- Turn the heat down to low and season beef with salt and pepper. Using 2 wooden spatulas, tear the beef into tiny pieces.
- Layer beef with slices of provolone cheese. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil or a lid to help the cheese melt.
- Slice the buns and spread mayonnaise on both sides. Scoop the beef into the buns and serve immediately.
- Be careful to not add too much flour to your dough. The dough should be sticky when the olive oil is incorporated. Too much flour will make dense rolls.
- Add olive oil at the end as written in the recipe. Adding it too early will inhibit the production of gluten.
- Get a butcher to slice the steak very thinly. You can also do this yourself by freezing the steak for 30 minutes and slicing thinly across the grain.
- Add caramelized onions, bell peppers or mushrooms onto your cheesesteaks if you wish.