Things You'll Need
- Sandwich rolls
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Rib eye or flank steak
- Bell peppers
- Large nonstick or cast iron skillet
- Vegetable oil
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Minced garlic
- Provolone cheese slices or commercial cheese product
The modern Philly cheese steak sandwich requires three components -- a mixture of thinly sliced, sauteed beef, onions and peppers; melted cheese slices or cheese product; and a large sandwich roll. These basic ingredients have endured since the sandwich's development by Italian immigrant brothers in 1930s Philadelphia, but there's plenty of room for improvisation. If you're concerned about your fat and sodium intake, make adjustments that will provide you the pleasure of a traditional Philly cheese steak sandwich without the guilt.
Cut two sandwich rolls in half with a sharp knife. Choose from hoagie rolls, Italian sandwich rolls, French baguettes or Kaiser rolls. Pick whole-grain rolls for the most fiber and nutrients. Set the sliced rolls aside.
Place the uncut steak in the freezer for 15 minutes. Use rib-eye for a traditional Philly cheese steak sandwich, or flank steak for one with less saturated fat per serving. Plan to use 1/2 pound of meat per sandwich.
Remove the beef from the freezer and slice it thinly across the grain. Set the meat aside.
Use a sharp knife to thinly slice the onions and bell peppers. Choose white or yellow onions and green bell peppers for a traditional sandwich, or experiment with other types of onions and a variety of peppers, such as red, yellow or orange bell peppers. Plan to use about one onion and half of a large bell pepper for every two sandwiches.
Heat the skillet on medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and the sliced onions and peppers, cooking them until they're brown and caramelized. Allow about six minutes for one onion, half a bell pepper and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
Season the onions and peppers with salt, pepper and a healthy pinch of garlic. Stir the mixture and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
Push the vegetables to one side of the skillet and add the sliced beef. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Cook the beef, stirring, until it shows only a trace of pink, about two minutes for 1/2 pound of meat. Substitute thinly sliced Portobello mushrooms for some of the meat if you prefer a sandwich with a meaty texture but less fat and fewer calories.
Mix the vegetables and meat together in the skillet. Top the mixture with thin slices of Provolone cheese or melted commercial cheese product. Choose reduced-fat, low-sodium cheese for the healthiest option.
Divide the meat, vegetable and cheese mixture and place it on the sliced sandwich rolls. Serve immediately.
Thinly sliced sirloin tip roast or eye of round are beef alternatives.
When you're making Philly cheese steak sandwiches for a crowd, use a griddle instead of a skillet to prepare all of the filling ingredients at once.
The Harvard School of Public Health cautions that a diet high in red meat may increase your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Eat Philly cheese steak sandwiches only occasionally and in moderation.