Recipe: Philadelphia Cheese Steak

Chef Nick Gilmartin continues this month's American cooking series.

Hola Amigos!

Fancy something quick, meaty and satisfying that you can eat on the go?  Step this way.

American sandwiches are not like the little triangles we get over here. They are big, half-loaf things stuffed full of meat and vegetables.  And boy, do they hit the spot.  The one mainstay of every street corner food cart is the Philadelphia Cheese Steak. 

We're making two of them, right?  Introduce a friend.  Hell, introduce a Vegetarian. You need the following:

  • Two rump steaks, as thin as you can find.  Then mallet them so thin you can fit them under the door.
  •  One ciabatta loaf
  •  One onion, pick any colour
  •  Two handfuls of mushrooms
  •  Mayonnaise
  •  Dijon Mustard
  •  Worcestershire sauce

Oh, and cheese, mustn't forget that.  Grated cheddar on this occasion.  But why not try Stilton?

As for the kit, you will need one very thick based frying pan, one small frying pan, tongs, one red board and one green board.  And one very big, dangerous mallet.

Right, to kick off, wash your hands!

Place a damp cloth on a worktop.  Now place the red chopping board on that.  Take your pieces of steak and spread them out over the red board.  Take a mallet and CAREFULLY beat them to a pulp, minding your fingers. [box type="alert" style="rounded"]Important safety tip.  Wear shoes for this.  If you drop a mallet on your toe, it will hurt.  A lot [/box]Move the steak on to a plate and liberally coat it in Worcestershire sauce.  Now leave it aside.

Peel and thinly slice the onion.  Thinly, being the operative word. Slice the mushrooms to the same thinness and sweat them off in the small frying pan.

Heat the thick frying pan with a little oil.  We need a thick one to stop the steak from burning.  Using your tongs, place the steak in the pan and fry it off for about a minute either side.  This is why it is sometimes called minute steak by the French. Once it is cooked, move it on to a yellow chopping board, or a wooden one.  Slice it into strips.  Take the onions and mushrooms off the heat and leave aside.

Fire up your grill. Take your ciabatta, and cut it into two halves then slice it carefully into two sides, top and bottom.  Place it under the grill and allow it to toast - that's as opposed to burn - please keep an eye on it!  Now take it off the heat. 

Take a small dish and make a 50-50 mix of Dijon mustard and Mayonnaise.  Add a little cracked black pepper and lemon if you like.

Spread the mustard mayo over the base of the bread.  And over the top, if you like.  Over this, you spread the onions and mushrooms and place the steak on top of that. Finally cover the whole thing with lots and lots of grated cheese.

Place it back under the grill until the cheese starts to bubble and melt.  Now place the lid over the top, and serve up, on its own or with chips or French fries (the difference being the thickness) and a dip pot of mustard mayo.  Because it's awesome.

And that is really it.  Simple, tasty and quick.  Enjoy

Have a nice day!

More American recipes here.

Words & photos by chef Nick Gilmartin who can be contacted on @Nick1975 or find out more here.