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Jason Perlow

Making an Authentic Philly Cheesesteak at Home

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Holy shit! Those look good.


"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)

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AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.................. :sad::sad:

I haven't had a cheesesteak since I left Philly for SoCal in 1980 and I am DYING here !!

OMG............I never really thought of making them at home for my LA born husband who has (blasphemy) NEVER had one but NOW !! Aha! He shall understand the craving ! Bwahahaaaaaa........

Rachel and Jason ....

awesome pics and commentary .........

from one who misses them..........(and , in many ways, the whole East Coast vibe.......) :rolleyes:

K

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DC cheesesteaks are very good, and unlike their Philly cousins, hot peppers, sauteed bell pepper and lettuce and tomato are considered vital components.

Actually if Philly cheesesteaks included all this stuff as standard issue I might like them better.

I like chicken cheesesteaks and roast pork Italiano sandwiches so much better than regular beef cheesesteaks, despite their availability practically anywhere around here.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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- Ketchup was only added to sandwich #3, we both liked it the best.

Its Cheesesteak not Cheese burger. :cool:

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Wow! That looks amazing and makes this here non-land meat eating gal want to dive right in and scarf up all those sandwiches!

That seems like so much food... did the both of you finish every last bite of your taste testings? What did you have to drink with them? And please excuse the ignorance of this island gal, but is there a customary beverage that is paired with the cheesteak sandwich?

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We had breakfast at like 9am, but we didn't have any lunch, in anticipation of the evening's gluttony.

I beleive a proper pairing would be the soft drink of your choice, but its possible that Philly has a local soft drink.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Wow! That looks amazing and makes this here non-land meat eating gal want to dive right in and scarf up all those sandwiches!

That seems like so much food... did the both of you finish every last bite of your taste testings? What did you have to drink with them? And please excuse the ignorance of this island gal, but is there a customary beverage that is paired with the cheesteak sandwich?

We had breakfast at like 9am, but we didn't have any lunch, in anticipation of the evening's gluttony.

I beleive a proper pairing would be the soft drink of your choice, but its possible that Philly has a local soft drink.

There is no customary pairing with a cheesesteak. If you really wanted to be a local, you'd pair it with Frank's Black Cherry Wisniak soda and follow with a couple Goldenbery peanut chews for desert. Beer goes nicely as well, but mostly it's accompanied by soft drinks.

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Jason and Rachel, they looked great!!

Only having lived in Philly for three years, I'd say they look pretty close to what I've had. My vote is for #1, but without the wiz. Even though I like some food colored an unnatural orange color, I can’t bring myself to order the wiz. Provolone for me.

As for the ketchup, I don't think it's that bad a thing (ducking any possible debris thrown my way). The guys at the lunch carts near the office tend to put ketchup on their cheesesteaks, and put some on mine by accident one day. Instead of complaining, I just took it back to the office. The ketchup added a nice flavor to the cheesesteak, almost like a gravy. I don't think I'd ever go to Jim's or Pats and ask for it, but for a lunch cart, ketchup ain’t bad.


Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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We had breakfast at like 9am, but we didn't have any lunch, in anticipation of the evening's gluttony.

I beleive a proper pairing would be the soft drink of your choice, but its possible that Philly has a local soft drink.

Never a Wisniak fan, I always went with a birch beer.

I understand the steak shop in the 300 block of S. Broad has vanished to make way for some theatre or something...I used to get a steak (often a pizza steak), always provolone--can't stand that Cheez Whiz--and a birch beer for lunch often, when I was going to school across the street.

That was also a great store to get a hot chocolate and a cruller for breakfast.

Sigh.

ETA: gotta have ketchup on there, too!


Edited by *Deborah* (log)

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Quite impressive!  Those look almost as good as the authentic animal.

I think most of the cheesesteak joints slice their meat slightly frozen on a deli slicer.

I'm still waiting for someone to start a Roast Pork Italiano thread with pictures.  :wub:

we totally instructed someone (was it you, behemoth?) on the intricacies of creating an ersatz roast pork sandwich at home sometime last year, didn't we?

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Jason, the sandwiches look great, probably as close as you can get without doing a huge batch on a big grill, with an irritable guy sweating over it a little. (Didn't someone ask about seasoning?)

I'm not sure why folks were getting all excited about the supposedly inauthentic bell peppers (I did see that Holly acknowledged their existence) but most of the steak joints that I've gone to offer them, in fact a "pepper cheez with" is my standard order. It's on the board at Jim's and Pat's and plenty of other places. At most spots, the peppers are out of a jar or can, but not pickled. They are soft and mushy, kept warm in a little bowl on the flattop, like the mushrooms, similarly from a can, and slapped on top of the meat with the spatula right before the onions. Some grill guys toss them on the flattop along with the meat for a minute...

And there's no correct answer, but some places leave the sliced meat whole, flipping them, and other places shred/chop the (usually thinner) meat with two spatulas while it's cooking. Both versions are pretty good.

Jeeze, now I gotta go downtown and get one...


Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Jason, the sandwiches look great, probably as close as you can get without doing a huge batch on a big grill, with an irritable guy sweating over it a little. (Didn't someone ask about seasoning?)

I'm not sure why folks were getting all excited about the supposedly inauthentic bell peppers (I did see that Holly acknowledged their existence) but most of the steak joints that I've gone to offer them, in fact a "pepper cheez with" is my standard order. It's on the board at Jim's and Pat's and plenty of other places. At most spots, the peppers are out of a jar or can, but not pickled.  They are soft and mushy, kept warm in a little bowl on the flattop, like the mushrooms, similarly from a can, and slapped on top of the meat with the spatula right before the onions. Some grill guys toss them on the flattop along with the meat for a minute...

And there's no correct answer, but some places leave the sliced meat whole, flipping them, and other places shred/chop the (usually thinner) meat with two spatulas while it's cooking. Both versions are pretty good.

Jeeze, now I gotta go downtown and get one...

At least for me the "sound" of a steak joint is the smacking of the spatulas onto the grill as the guys mince the daylights outta the meat. What else does one here on line at Jim's for instance but the klinking of the spatulas and the sizzle? OK maybe some back talk but usually Jim's is pretty civil.

Those steaks look excellent BTW, Jason! Next time get the jug of whiz - it will probably last for 25 years - sitting out open on the driveway even. :biggrin:

Evan


Dough can sense fear.

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Lovely cheesesteaks there, Jason. Though I'd melt the wiz and ladle generously over the top :wub:


Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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I was raised in Western Massachusetts and have lived in Bucks County for 2 years. The first time I went to a hoagie place, my husband had to translate the menu for me.

There was

1) cheesesteak - as described so beautifully above

2) chicken cheesesteak - as above only with chicken; no steak is actually involved

3) a weber - a cheesesteak made with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo; no Whiz is involved

4) a chicken weber - a chicken cheesesteak with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo; no steak, no Whiz

So is this weber a Quakertownian thing because I've not heard anyone describe that condiment option as a weber anywhere but here.

I don't get the whole cult of cheesesteak. Even the McDonald's here was selling them for a while. I just want a good pepperoni grinder.

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i've never heard of a weber. most places i know of would describe #3 as a cheesesteak hoagie.

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My guess is some guy named Weber is a regular at a Quakertown cheesesteak joint and always ordered his cheesesteaks as described above. I have never come across it.

It's similar to a great variation upon a theme, the Schmitter, as served at H.J. McNally's in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia - cheese steak on a kaiser roll, topped with fried salami, fried onions, tomato and a spiced up secret sauce. The guy who ordered it always drank Schmidt's beer.

Maybe the guy who ordered the Quakertown Steak always washed it down with a Weber's root beer.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Thanks. Confirms what I already know. I live in a weird little town. If you ever come to Quakertown and eat in one of our fine dining establishments, you'll know what a Weber is.

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i've never heard of a weber.  most places i know of would describe #3 as a cheesesteak hoagie.

What he said. That's a cheesesteak hoagie.

It's similar to a great variation upon a theme, the Schmitter, as served at H.J. McNally's in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia - cheese steak on a kaiser roll, topped with fried salami, fried onions, tomato and a spiced up secret sauce. The guy who ordered it always drank Schmidt's beer

I have yet to go check out the joys of a Schmitter. I've only had the "Thanksgiving on a Roll" sandwiches at McNally's.

Thanks. Confirms what I already know. I live in a weird little town.

I had no idea that Quakertown was so odd... :raz:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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What he said.  That's a cheesesteak hoagie.

Now that I think about it, I think someone explained to me that the Weber was a cheesesteak hoagie. As if that would clarify anything to a Yankee girl.

I had no idea that Quakertown was so odd... :raz:

This is also the town where the best Chinese food is from the deli in the Giant.

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As someone who grew up in philly, spending over 21 years of my life there... let me put this straight. EASY CHEESE is NOT cheese whiz!!! I've traveled all over the country and many people think they are the same thing. I don't know how this started, since there are two distinct products, how do you get Easy Cheese confused with something that says "Cheese Whiz" on the label?? Sigh... I used to make cheesesteaks in places in philly, the big food service cans of whiz are identical to the jars you'll find in the supermarket. My wife, when I first met her, thought easy cheese was cheese whiz. When I told her that many people from philly put whiz on cheesesteaks, she nearly gagged. The idea of putting that canned easy cheese crap (which tastes absolutely horrid) on a cheesesteak is nauseating. Whiz ain't great, but its a heck of a lot better than easy cheese. Don't say that they are the same... easy cheese is meant to be eaten at room temperature, whiz is made to be eaten hot/melted. Don't make this mistake!!! Sorry but I'm a cheesesteak purist.

Now if you want to use real cheese like american or provolone, this is what you do. Once the meat is fully cooked, heat the pan up on high with the meat still in it. If you have a heat proof plate bigger than your fry pan or if you have a burger dome, throw the sliced cheese on the meat. Then pour about 1/4 cup of cold water on the sides of the cooked steak! Do this quickly you don't want the meat to crisp up at all. Immediately cover the pan with a lid, dome, plate, whatever. Wait 15-20 seconds. Shut off the flame, and remove the steak from heat. The cheese will be completely melted and the water will have collected and made that standard greasy delicious liquid you find on real philly steaks. Surprise, its mostly water thickened with some of the cheese, not oil! Put this whole thing on a roll and eat. I personally am not a whiz fan. :-) But this is what most places do to get that delicious flavor.


Edited by ghost (log)

WhizWit.net -- My blog on Food, Life, and Politics

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[Gov. Ed] Rendell Tells Convention Group What's in a Real Philly Cheesesteak

Apparently he loves his cheesesteak, and considers himself an expert.

The governor waxed poetic about cheesesteaks:

“You cannot use good meat. You have to use the fattiest, stringiest meat to get the right taste. You have to use Cheese Whiz, because the cheese has to get into all the different nooks and crannies of the meat. And just putting a slice of cheese on top of it doesn’t do the job. You have to put the onions on with the grease and everything. It makes the best gastronomic treat you will ever have.”


Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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Old topic, but here’s a top:  make sure to remove some bread to form a long shallow hollow so you can fill that bastard up with more filling

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On 2/18/2019 at 5:44 PM, WhiskerBiscuit said:

Old topic, but here’s a top:  make sure to remove some bread to form a long shallow hollow so you can fill that bastard up with more filling

 

Can't say I've ever known that to be a thing for steaks.  Hoagies for sure, not steaks though.  Steaks can get really messy without that bread to soak up the cheese, juices, and ketchup.  YMMV


Edited by rustwood (log)

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