And before any native Philadelphians read the below recipe and scoff — I know that this is not exactly the real thing. For starters, I don’t use sliced steak; any day that I am not willing to shape a hamburger patty is not a day that I am willing to painstakingly thinly slice a steak. Ground beef (preferably 85% lean chuck) will work just fine for this weeknight version.
Start by quickly cooking sliced onion and bell pepper in a ripping hot skillet; you’re looking for the vegetables to just start to soften and char around the edges. Next, crumble the beef over the vegetables, but don’t turn the heat down. Liquid released from the beef will steam the vegetables, preventing them from burning, and the beef’s rendered fat will help it to brown. A few minutes and a stir or two later, the beef and vegetable filling is ready for cheese. I like provolone in my cheesesteaks, but you can use any mild, melty deli cheese. Lay several slices over the top of the beef so it forms a warm, cheesy blanket over the meat.