Philadelphia is Sandwich Town USA, home to the Italian hoagie, the roast pork sandwich, and, most famously of all, the cheesesteak. At Pat’s and Geno’s in South Philly, you’ll find the two most famous cheesesteak slingers in the city, fierce rivals positioned right across the street from each other. Philadelphians might want our heads, but the truth must be told: Neither is any good. The quality of meat is low, the seasoning is timid, and the cheese is a viscous technicolor yellow goo (just because Cheez Whiz is traditional doesn’t make it right). Our version uses tender, intensely beefy skirt steak, provolone, and a trio of caramelized vegetables to do the cheesesteak titans one better (for about 500 fewer calories). Now since you’re cooking your own, you can re-name these cheesesteaks after the city of your choice.
540 calories, 25 g fat (10 g saturated), 790 mg sodium
1 lb skirt or flank steak
1⁄2 Tbsp canola or peanut oil, plus more if needed
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 slices provolone
4 whole-wheat hoagie rolls, lightly toasted
How to Make It
- Place the steak in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up (this will help you slice it).
- Use a very sharp knife to cut the thinnest strips possible from the beef.
- Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.
- Add the bell pepper and mushrooms and continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until all of the vegetables are browned. Remove and reserve.
- Swirl in enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the sliced steak.
- Season with salt and pepper right away, then use a spatula or tongs to keep the steak moving.
- After the steak has browned on all sides (because it’s thin, this will happen quickly—4 to 5 minutes).
- Within the pan, divide the steak and veggie mixture into 4 equal piles and top each with a slice of provolone.
- Continue cooking for about 1 minute, just until the provolone has melted.
- Serve each pile on a hoagie roll.
This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!
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