Two South Philly neighbors kitty-corner from one another, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks, battle it out 24 hours a day for cheesesteak domination. And while native Philadelphians have strong opinions about what toppings to add and even how to order (Whiz-wit or wit-out), both steak shacks essentially serve the same thing: seared strips of steak, sautéed onions, and plenty of cheese on a crusty hoagie roll. CHOW’s version starts with onions and optional peppers and mushrooms that are cooked till tender, then pushed to one side of the pan to make room for searing thinly sliced rib-eye. The vegetables are piled up right on the steak, slices of provolone are melted on top, and the whole mess is served in a toasted hoagie roll. Make sure to have plenty of napkins on hand, especially if you drop the provolone for some Cheez Whiz.
Game plan: Don’t forget to chill your rib-eye before starting this recipe—it’ll make the steak much easier to slice.
1 (12-ounce) boneless rib-eye steak, chilled in the freezer for 45 minutes
2 tablespoonsvegetable oil
1 medium bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounceswhite button mushrooms, stems trimmed and thinly sliced (optional)
4 ouncesprovolone cheese, thinly sliced
2hoagie rolls, split horizontally and toasted
Trim off any excess fat from the steak and cut it against the grain into very thin slices; set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the bell pepper, if using, and the onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. If you’re using the mushrooms, push the peppers and onions to one side, add the mushrooms to the pan, and cook, stirring rarely, until browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir to combine with the peppers and onions.
Push all of the vegetables to one side of the pan, add the sliced steak in a single layer, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.
Divide the steak into 2 piles roughly the size of the hoagie rolls. Place half of the vegetables on top of each steak portion. Lay half of the cheese over each portion of steak and vegetables. Cover the pan with a tightfitting lid and let cook undisturbed until the cheese has melted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a flat spatula, scoop each pile into a roll and serve immediately.