Challenge No. 18 – Philly Cheese Steak

This dish was suggested by my brother who is a qualified cross-fit trainer, ex-triathlon athlete and all round fitness fanatic whose love of food sometimes wins out over the desire to be healthy (he’s only human!).  My brother doesn’t abide by the motto of having everything in moderation and if he’s going to do something he does it properly, including cheat days.  And so his suggestions for Challenge 52 include Philly Cheese Steak, BBQ chicken wings and, what he calls, “the mother of all milkshakes”.  Not exactly the picture of health but some great choices from my big brother!

I’ve already made the chicken wings and now its time for the Philly Cheese Steak – a wonderfully cheesy beef mess served on a lovely soft white roll.  Whilst I had heard of of the dish, I actually hadn’t ever eaten one.  I did a bit of searching online and was presented with a plethora of versions.  Some used mushrooms whilst other didn’t, some used leftover roast beef whilst others used fresh beef steak and so on.  The starting point was the beef.  I discussed the options with my boyfriend Dave and we decided to go for left over roast beef.  A common problem with roasts when there are only 2 of you is what to do with the left overs and this seemed like a great solution.

So on Sunday I cooked a roast dinner using beef brisket.  I slow cooked this until it was at a good carving point but not quite at a shredding point.  We had a 1kg joint and I cooked it for around 2hrs 30 minutes at 170 degrees celsius.  Once the leftover beef was cool, I got my sharpest knife and carefully cut it into very thin slices.

Practical tip: slicing the beef as thinly as possible seems to be key to this dish.  If you are using fresh beef steak, most recipes call for the steak to be chilled in the freezer for 30-45 minutes as this makes it easier to slice the beef as thinly as possible.

To make the full dish, I used the following ingredients:-

  • Oil
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 sweet red peppers, thinly sliced
  • Leftover roast beef, thinly sliced
  • 5 cheese slices
  • 3 hot dog buns

Edited - ingredients

This is a very simple ingredients list and it could be expanded by adding mushrooms, a bit of garlic and maybe even jalapeños if you like a bit of heat.  However, Dave requested we keep it simple and so I stuck with just the 6 ingredients listed above.

Edited - meat and veg

I started off by frying the onion for a few minutes and then adding the pepper to the pan.  I let this cook away for about 8 minutes over a low-medium temperature until the veg was nice and soft.  I removed it from the pan and added a little more oil before frying the beef. 

At this point I cut my buns in half and popped them under the grill to heat through.  They were under a medium heat for around 5 minutes which was just long enough to add a little crunch to the surface without loosing the fluffiness of the bread.

With the buns almost done and the beef heated through, I returned the onion and peppers to cook for a couple more minutes.  Finally, I added the cheese slices and once these had melted, I gave it a good stir to mix it all together.   I then added the cheesy-beef mix to the heated rolls and added a side of sweet potato fries.   

 Edited - in the bunEdited - served up

All in all, I enjoyed my first Philly Cheese Steak and this really was a perfect Monday night dinner.  It used up the sunday roast leftovers and was so quick to make. I am planning on making this again and next time I’ll give it a go with fresh steak and a few extra ingredients, just to see what its like.         

Coming up next week, Challenge No. 19 – rum raisin ice cream! 🙂