Philly Cheesesteak - suggestions?

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KatyCooks

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I have this recipe in my latest Sainsburys magazine and it looks very appetising!


However, I had a really tasty Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia at the Reading Terminal Market and I know for a fact that beef mince will not produce anything like the flavour or texture I am looking for.

So, I think I should get some steak and try to cut/chop it extremely finely to try to approximate the texture. My questions are:

1. What type of steak? (I am only cooking for 2 people so I can get a decent cut) but bear in mind I am in Britain so some cuts may not be available, or may be called something different here.

2. I have one proper cutting knife, so any suggestions for how to get a reasonably fine chop on the steak? I am thinking freezing it a little bit would help? Nobody thinks I should put steak in a food processor I assume?
 

JohnDB

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You are definitely on the right path...
Mostly freezing the meat is a good idea. Then using a meat slicer is another good idea. You want a fairly lean cut like the round but the sirloin is better...better marbling in the meat. Loin or ribeye is going to be too expensive.
Cheesteaks need au jus...lots of seasoned beef broth. And a good crusty bread bun. Then onions and bell peppers and various other vegetables like mushrooms and tomatoes....cheese is optional but something like a gouda or provolone is good.

I just looked at the recipe....Leicester cheese?
Balsamic vinegar? For an acid I'd prefer some fresh tomato concasse to Balsamic.
 
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Andy M.

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On of the best options for the meat is ribeye. Perhaps you can have the butcher/meat department slice it for you.
 

KatyCooks

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Hi @JohnDB

Okay, sirloin - that I can do. And freezing. Check!

I am not trying reproduce a proper Philly Cheesesteak though (not possible I fear). Just "essence of" piled on top of a big mushroom!

Couldn't agree more on the cheese - no way I was going to use Red Leicester - but Gouda was on my radar so I will go with that.

Thanks for the tips!

@Andy M. There is no butcher in my town, and I must be honest, for this recipe, I couldn't justify buying ribeye and "butchering" it (literally) myself. (It would be a travesty.)

Having said this, I wonder what the "meat section" would say in Sainsburys if I asked them to finely slice a steak for me?? You have me wondering now Andy!
 
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cookiecrafter

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Hope your sandwich turned out good. Kroger has a section in their meat dept with precuts for specialty sandwiches. I do agree with Andy and ribeye. There are now several different ribeye cuts from thin to big.
 

taxlady

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For freezing the meat, unless it's a really thick piece, I wouldn't freeze it for more than 20 or 30 minutes. You don't want it hard. You just want it stiff enough that it doesn't wiggle while you are cutting it. It's a very useful tip I learned here on DC.
 

dragnlaw

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KatyCooks, I've been browsing thru that website of Sainsbury's Magazine. OMG, going crazy down this rabbit hole. Have earmarked about 6 or 8 recipes already.
 

dcSaute

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I may be a bit confused here . . . but . . .

if you want to make a nice stuffed mushroom with tasty beef
that's different from
"a Philly Cheese Steak"

not even remotely grasping how the stuffed mushroom relates to a cheese steak, however comma....

(I'm a Philadelphia native . . . ) the best are make with rib eye.
now.... slicing a ribeye to 1 mm thickness "across the grain" is not going to happen with a knife and by hand. that's strictly purpose slicing large rib eye "roast" chunks on a machine.

that aside, you can thin slice (sharp knife, yada,yada) a rib eye at home. do not "freeze" - but "near freezed" is what you want. chilled to the point the meat is very firm, does not wiggle or squirm under the knife - that allows you to thin slice with aplomb.

thin slice the steak cut "along the grain," salt, allow to sit 1-2 hours. pan fry in (olive) oil to produce 50% browned areas. stuff mushroom.
throw not the oil/fat liquid away - include on sandwich / dish . . .
that, methinks, will provide the kind of cheese steak flavor you found in the Reading Market.

cheese - American processed "cheese" is the standard. that kind of 'fake cheese' may not be locally available. my personal tastes would wander to veddy thin baby swiss - but that's just me.
 

Roll_Bones

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I cannot make a great Philly. No matter how hard I try. They just are not the same. I don't have to freeze the beef (sirloin) to slice it very thin. Its easy with a very sharp knife.
But the end product is never what I had hoped for. And I don't live in Philly.
We do have a Greek lunch type restaurant that has a Philly on the menu and its very good. But not traditional.
 

taxlady

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@Roll_Bones, if you don't partially freeze the meat before you slice it, how does it not wiggle while you are slicing? I don't understand why it wouldn't wiggle just because the knife is very sharp. Or, are you slicing already cooked sirloin?
 

KatyCooks

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Okay, I seem to have caused a little bit of consternation! Just to clarify, I was not trying to make a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. The recipe is a "take" on the idea, not a replication of it. So, basically a large mushroom with a Philly Cheesesteak style filling. However, I could tell from the ingredient list that it wasn't going to taste very much like the sandwich I had when I was actually in Philly, so I thought I would get some pointers here on a couple of areas.

In the end, I went with a Ribeye steak, which I lightly froze, and I was then able to chop it into what I consider to be an acceptable texture. The result is still not much like the flavour I was looking for, but it was very tasty just the same!
 

KatyCooks

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KatyCooks, I've been browsing thru that website of Sainsbury's Magazine. OMG, going crazy down this rabbit hole. Have earmarked about 6 or 8 recipes already.
I do get a lot of inspiration from this magazine. I don't always follow the recipes exactly (as in this case), but it certainly helps to have some ideas sometimes!
 

dragnlaw

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I don't always follow recipes either but often try to the first time. Then when I've figured out a) if I like it, and b) if I can do it! - anything goes.

Glad you had a tasty sandwich whether or not it was exact, LOL
 

KatyCooks

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I don't always follow recipes either but often try to the first time. Then when I've figured out a) if I like it, and b) if I can do it! - anything goes.

Glad you had a tasty sandwich whether or not it was exact, LOL
One thing I am very glad I did many years ago - and just after joining this site way back in 2013 - was buying a set of cup measures. It means I can follow recipes from the US without having to convert - makes life much easier! How do you get on with UK/Euro recipes dragnlaw - do you convert to cups or just use a kitchen scales for lbs/ounces/kilos/grams?
 

dcSaute

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recipes I think I'll repeat, I do the measures and record the grams.
I also have my own personal list of how much volume of X weighs in grams.

I keep my recipes in a .txt file for easy modification/annotation, and deal with cups/grams like this:
{oatmeal cookies}
cream together
1 stick + 6 tbsp butter (170g)
0.75 c / 150 g light brown sugar
0.5 c / 100 g granulated sugar

add two eggs
add 1 tsp vanilla extract

combine & blend
<< 1.5 c. / 210g Ceresota AP flour (high altitude: 1.75 c flour) >>
recipe adjusted to 180g KA_AP
1 tsp baking soda (2g)
1 tsp cinnamon (3.5g)
0.5 tsp salt

add flour mixture to creamed butter&sugar
add 3 c. / 240g oatmeal
add 1 c. / 160g raisins
(optional) 50g sliced almonds
 

dragnlaw

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Canada went metric quite a few years ago. A lot of recipes are written with both. I do have a scale and use it quite a bit but not always. It really depends on my mood and what I am preparing.

LOL - I mentioned on another thread, the one thing I cannot do is Celsius weather. I still have Fahrenheit on my phone app, but when talking with my kids I have to convert it to Celsius. LOL (I also do Military time, but that one is easy to convert and I don't have a problem with it)
 

JohnDB

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Canada went metric quite a few years ago. A lot of recipes are written with both. I do have a scale and use it quite a bit but not always. It really depends on my mood and what I am preparing.

LOL - I mentioned on another thread, the one thing I cannot do is Celsius weather. I still have Fahrenheit on my phone app, but when talking with my kids I have to convert it to Celsius. LOL (I also do Military time, but that one is easy to convert and I don't have a problem with it)
It's all the French Canadians fault...I blame them...but since I don't live in Maple Moose territory...nobody cares if I blame them or not. But in all reality it's equivalency anyway....use what you got and use good judgment....it'll work out.
 

KatyCooks

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Canada went metric quite a few years ago. A lot of recipes are written with both. I do have a scale and use it quite a bit but not always. It really depends on my mood and what I am preparing.

LOL - I mentioned on another thread, the one thing I cannot do is Celsius weather. I still have Fahrenheit on my phone app, but when talking with my kids I have to convert it to Celsius. LOL (I also do Military time, but that one is easy to convert and I don't have a problem with it)
I chat away regularly with my friend who lives in Arizona, and weather comes up a lot! I have to convert my Celsius to her Farenheit. (She won't/can't convert it in reverse!) (a fairly "balmy" 20C / 68f in Hampshire today) ;-)
 
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KatyCooks

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The whole "cup measurement" thing interested me and from absolutely minimal research online, it appears to have come from original settlers arriving in the US and not having a way to measure other than the cups they had with them. The size of a cup that you happened to have would be unique to you, but it was "standard", so you could use it as a measure. If this is true, it is fascinating! (But is it, or is it just folklore?)
 

dragnlaw

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After watching Jamie Oliver and a few others just grabbing seemingly coffee cups I decided to measure some of mine. Believe it or not they are pretty accurate! Mugs are slightly different but not that much. Just that there are such a variety of them... popular gifts to give for no reason, LOL.
 
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