I’m from Philadelphia. I love cheesesteaks. I love the cheesesteaks sold by street vendors and the cheesesteaks sold at high-end establishments like Pat’s or Gino’s. I love them all. They’re my artery-clogging food of choice! They’re also the key to almost all of my social ills. So trust me: these baguette cheesesteaks using top round steak and habañero jack cheese are amazing. It’s not quite the same as a flight home, but making them always brings a familiar tone to my tiny, distant apartment.
Cheesesteaks are so easy to make well that everybody should know how to make one! Before you begin, make sure that you are using the largest skillet that you have. You’re going to need it.
You start with your onions. I like my onions caramelized. I adore the sweet undertone that caramelized onions impart. That taste gives a lot of variety to so many dishes, and this one is no exception. You can choose to caramelize them or not, but I highly recommend it.
The next thing to add is the green peppers. Green peppers add a slightly sweet hint and help to blend the flavors of the onions, the bread and the meat. Toss the peppers in with the onions once they’ve started to caramelize and turn up the heat ever so slightly.
Throw in the meat next and then top it with your cheese of choice. Once it’s cooked through and the cheese has melted, you’re ready to throw it into your baguette and top it with your condiments of choice! See? Simple. Fresh. Classic.
I always marvel that the right cook and the right food can make any place feel like home. The emotional connection we form with food is lasting and very powerful. Use that in your cooking. Then your food becomes more than some calories or just a passing taste. Simple, bold flavors and beautiful, subtle flavors become tools with myriad possibilities. Cook with me for to see more of those possibilities!
- 1 fresh baguette (sliced in 2 halves)
- olive oil (to coat pan)
- 10 oz. habañero jack cheese (or, for a more traditional taste, you can go with provolone)
- 1.5 pounds top round steak (you can always ask a store employee or a butcher if you have difficulty understanding the different cuts of meat)
- 1 green bell pepper
- Horseradish mustard
- Salt and Pepper
- Slice baguette in 2 halves
- Coat a very large pan with olive oil. The olive oil should cover every part of the pan and then some.
- Place pan over medium heat.
- Chop up large onion and place on large pan.
- Let sit at least 10 minutes to allow the onions to cook. The onions should begin to lose their color and become clear after this time. If you wish to caramelize the onions, you will need to stir after 10 minutes and give at least 10 more minutes additional cook time.
- Chop up bell pepper into slices and put in with onions (after the onions have been cooking for at least 10 minutes). Let sit for at least 3 minutes. Begin salting top round steak.
- Cut top round steak into thin slices
- Season top round steak with salt and pepper
- After onion and bell pepper mixture has been sitting for at least 3 minutes, turn up heat to medium high and place top round steak on pan
- Place cheese over the steak let entire mixture fry for at least 5 minutes
- Slice open the two halves of the baguette, place onion, bell pepper, top round steak, cheese mixture inside
- Let sit for two minutes