Philly Cheesesteak


Side Note: Vol. 2

Philly Cheesesteak

The Philadelphia Cheesesteak is an iconic classic of American cooking in general and Mid-Atlantic cooking in particular.  The dish is said to have originated from a hot dog vendor in the 1930’s.  There are many variations of the dish with all sorts of ingredients being added into the mix and calling themselves “authentic,” but the cheesesteak is actually quite simple in its design.

A frozen steak is sliced thin and fried up with peppers and onions.  It is placed on a Philadelphia roll and topped with Cheese Whiz.  There are countless variations such as mushrooms, bacon, provolone or even cheddar cheese, but these ingredients make the dish more of a steak and cheese sandwich as opposed to the classic Philly Cheesesteak.

It wasn’t until the 1960’s that cheese was added to the sandwich at Pat’s King of Steaks restaurant and the classic was officially born.  There is even a sign which explains the process to customers as they enter the historical landmark:  For the uninitiated, a sign explains the drill: with or without onions; specify provolone, American or Cheez Whiz; have your money ready; go to the back of the line if you make a mistake.

There is no mistaking this iconic classic of fast food.  The Philly Cheesesteak is now a celebrated classic of American cuisine and is seen as the high end equivalent to the hamburger in popularity.

English: Cheez Whiz

The Society Hill’s Philadelphia Phenomenon Cheese Steak

Best of the Best from Pennsylvania

Gwen McKee & Barbra Moseley

Quail Ridge Press 1993


1 (8-inch) Italian Roll

2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

6 Oz. Thinly Sliced Steak

2 Slices Cheese (American, Mozzarella or Provolone)

2 Tbsp. or More Water

1 Tbsp. Chopped, Sautéed Onions (optional)

1 Tbsp. Chopped, Sautéed Green Peppers (optional)

1 Tbsp. Chopped, Sautéed Mushrooms (optional)

1 Slice Bacon, Fried & Crumbled (optional)

1 Tbsp. Chopped Artichoke Hearts (optional)

1 – 2 Tbsp. Commercial Pizza Sauce (optional)


Cut roll in half and hollow out.  Heat roll in 250° oven until warm, approximately 4 – 5 minutes.  Heat oil on grill or in frying pan.  When oil is hot, sizzle steak.  Break steak apart for faster cooking.  When steak has cooked for 10 – 15 seconds, place cheese on top; add water to grill or frying pan to aid cheese in melting.  Remove from grill or pan; stuff roll with steak and cheese and any or all of the optional ingredients.  Serves 1. 


About midatlanticcooking

Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region for over 20 years. Painter, writer and traveler.
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2 Responses to Philly Cheesesteak

  1. In mine, I use velveeta cheese and steak-ums and add a little bit of garlic. They are so good.

  2. Pingback: Philly Burger (aka Cheesesteak burger): Recipe Sunday

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