Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Philly Cheese Steak

Why would one make Philly Cheese Steaks at home? Either because, A) you can, B) there is not a decent sub shop in your area or C) as in my case, both of the above. This is haute Homer Simpson cuisine.

1 ¾ pound (800 grams) very lean roast of beef, cheap is fine, but get one without any sinew (the stringy bits that don’t break down in cooking)
Vegetable oil for sautéing
1 medium/large yellow onion, peeled, halved, sliced very thin
1 green bell pepper, trimmed, seeded and sliced into thin strips
8 white or brown mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and sliced
Lawry’s season salt (if you have it) or sea salt
6 slices processed cheese, Velveeta, 2% Singles, or Cheez Whiz
4, 8” ‘par baked’ or ‘bake and serve’ hoagie rolls or baguettes

1) Place the roast in the freezer for 2 hours. You want it to really firm up without freezing into a hard block. Once it is good and stiff, ‘shave’ off very thin pieces of beef with a super sharp knife. Place shaved beef in a plastic bag, back in the refrigerator until ready to use (can be done up to a day before). Alternatively, very sweetly ask your butcher to do this for you.

2) When you are ready to eat: Set a large non-stick sauté pan, or cast iron skillet, over medium high heat and allow to get very hot. Drizzle in about 2 tablespoons veg oil and sauté all the vegetables, seasoning with salt, until they just start to go limp. Remove to a plate, cover and keep warm.

3) Put another 2 tablespoons veg oil in the pan and layer in the shaved meat (you may have to do this in batches-- keeping the cooked meat held warm, covered on a plate). Cook for just a few minutes per side and season with season or sea salt. At the same time, bake the rolls according to package directions.

4) Add all the meat back into the pan and layer slices of cheese on top, then the cooked vegetables on top of the cheese. Cover and take off the heat. Allow the cheese to melt and ooze into the meat slices (insert Homer Simpson groaning here).

5) Slice cooked, crunchy rolls so that they are not fully cut through, rather they cradle the cheese steak lovingly. Scoop ¼ of the beef/veg/cheese mass into each roll and serve immediately. A dab of Hellmann’s on each roll is recommended (by me and Homer)

Warning: After consumption, do not initiate intimate conversation (as your breath will reek of onions), or ant sort of love-making (as your gut will be bloated)-- just sit back in your elastic-waist pants and digest.

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