Conversations about the best Philly cheesesteak are second only to politics and religion in their inflammatory potential. Do you like yours with peppers and Cheez Whiz or without? In the case of these cheesesteak potato skins, you’re already breaking the rules, so get as creative as you like.
What to buy: Look for potatoes in 5-pound bags, as they tend to be smaller in size than loose potatoes. Avoid green-spotted or sprouted potatoes—they contain the bitter toxin solanine.
1Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2Pierce each potato several times with a fork or sharp knife. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake until the skins are crisp and a knife easily pierces the potatoes, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Set the oven to the broil setting.
3Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
4Slice the partially frozen steak into very thin pieces, discarding any fat. Increase the heat to high, push the vegetables to one side of the pan, add the steak slices, and season with salt and pepper. Cook the steak, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Combine the vegetables and steak, remove from heat, and set aside.
5Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch intact; reserve the flesh for another use. Brush the insides of the potatoes with the melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Flip the potatoes over, brush the skin sides with butter, and season with salt and pepper. Evenly space the potato halves skin side up on a baking sheet and broil until the butter foams and the skins start to crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes (keep a close watch so they don’t burn). Flip the potato halves over and broil until the top edges just start to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
6Divide the reserved steak and vegetable mixture among the skins and sprinkle with the cheese. Place in the broiler and broil until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 4 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.