One of the things I miss most about living in South Jersey/Philly are the ubiquitous cheesesteak shops on every corner. But lucky me had the benefit of working for one of those cheesesteak shops as a teenager, so even though it’s near impossible (with the exception of Benny’s, natch) to get a good cheesesteak here in Columbus, I can just make one at home when the mood hits me.
The secret to making Philly steaks at home (you know, in Philly they just call them “cheesesteaks” because the Philly part is assumed) is having the right kind of meat, usually very thinly sliced top round. You can pay $4+ a pound at the butcher, or do like we do and go to the Mexican supermarket and get it for $2.49/lb. (for locals, we get ours at La Plaza Tapatia right behind Westland Mall). Slice up a bunch of onion (the more the better), and put a bit of oil in a pan and throw the onion in. When the onion is starting to soften, add the steak and cook until browned. Add plenty of salt and pepper and whatever other kinds of seasonings float your boat. Serve on a sub roll with whatever toppings you want (I like cheese, tomatoes, mayo and ketchup myself). If you want to shake it up a bit, there are several variations, like the pizza sub – use Italian seasonings while frying it up, mozzarella cheese, and pizza sauce. You can also add green peppers and/or mushrooms to the onion mix if that’s your thing. The possibilities are endless.
Now, there are some who say that a Philly steak isn’t authentic if it’s not an Amoroso’s roll. While I subscribe to that theory as well, they don’t sell Amoroso rolls around here so I use the super sub buns from Meijer. Not even close, but works in a pinch. Just wanted to mention that if you’re in the Delaware Valley area, look for Amoroso’s rolls if you can get them.