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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Jo Lathan

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

Updated: Dec 29, 2023


This recipe (from my new cookbook) is for my nephew Ryan. He just moved to Philadelphia to become  the new Associate Director of Communications at the wonderful Curtis Institute of Music. As the story goes, this delicious sandwich was created in the 1930s by Mr.Pat Olivieri. According to Philadelphia’s official tourism site, Mr.Olivieri was a hotdog vendor in South Philly. One day, he decided he’d grill himself some beef he had gotten from his butcher, and put that beef on an Italian roll. Well, a cabbie stopped by, got a whiff of that steak sandwich Olivieri was eating, and asked him to make him one, too! Before you knew it, the word got around, and all the cabbies in town were asking for one of Olivieri’s steak sandwiches. As a matter of fact, his steak sandwiches became so popular that Olivieri eventually opened up Pat’s King of Steaks Restaurant on 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue. Then, in the 1940s (according to Philadelphia Magazine), cheese was added to the steak sandwich by Pat’s manager, Joe Lorenza. And, the famous Philly Cheesecake was born!


Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

Recipe by: Bobbi Jo Lathan

Recipe type: Entree

Cuisine: American

Serves: 6

PREP TIME

10 mins

COOK TIME

45 mins

TOTAL TIME

55 mins

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. boneless rib-eye steak or sirloin

2-3 tablespoons of canola oil

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 loaf fresh French bread (or hoagie rolls sliced lengthwise leaving one side still attached)

1 lb. fresh mozzarella or provolone cheese, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons butter, softened

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Thinly slice your steak. (If you put your steak into the freezer for about 45 minutes to an hour, it’ll be easier to thinly slice.)

  2. Get out your skillet. Heat two tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat.

  3. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and peppers and cook until the onions are translucent and the peppers are softened about 5 minutes. Once they are cooked, remove the skillet from the heat and cover with a lid or some foil to keep the veggies warm for later use.

  4. Use a clean cast-iron skillet or a grill pan for the steak slices. Add another tablespoon of oil to the new skillet or grill pan. Once the oil is good and hot, cook the steak slices for about 5-6 minutes, tossing the slices with a spatula or with tongs. You want to cook or fry up the meat until it is nice and evenly browned on each side. You’ll have a nice little pile of sliced meat. Sprinkle the meat with some salt and pepper.

  5. Now, place the cheese slices over the cooked meat, move to one side of the grill pan and cover the meat and cheese with a little folded aluminum foil lid, or hat, so the cheese will melt faster.

  6. Butter your sliced hoagie or French bread and place it butter-side down in the same hot skillet as the meat. You want to get the bread warm and toasty on the inside. Leave for about 3 minutes while the cheese is melting over the meat.

  7. Now, place the toasted bread on a plate, remove the foil from the meat and cheese (it should be nicely melted over the meat slices), and with some tongs, let’s assemble the sandwich.

  8. Place some peppers and onions on top of the toasted bread. Then using a spatula, lift the meat topped with the melted cheese and place over the peppers and onions. Close with the other slice of the toasted bread. Now open up that nice cold beer and dig in!

Me and my fabulous nephew Ryan.

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