What Cut Of Meat Should You Use For A Philly Cheesesteak?

If you ever find yourself in the City of Brotherly Love, there are a few must-try foods, including tomato pie, pepper pot, soft pretzels, water ice, the Texas Tommy, and, of course, the Italian-American classic Philly cheesesteak. When it comes to rustling up the famous hoagie in the comfort of your own kitchen, one of the most important things to consider is what type of beef to use.

Mashed recipe developer Michelle McGlinn swears by shaved steak — preferably New York strip or ribeye — as the prime choice for crafting delectably homemade Philly cheesesteaks. The unique characteristics of these cuts contribute to the unparalleled texture and taste that define an authentic cheesesteak experience. Shaved steak's thin slices are crucial for achieving that desired tenderness Philadelphians (and tourists) know and love. The delicate yet hearty slices also allow for quick and even cooking, ensuring every bite is as succulent and juicy as the last. 

What makes the Philly cheesesteak a truly iconic sandwich, according to McGlinn, is its simplicity. "My favorite thing is that it's so easy," she told Mashed. "Beef, onions, peppers, and cheese on a hoagie roll, all soft and warm and crispy. It just hits the spot and is super filling!"

Shaved steak works best in this Philadelphian classic

Michelle McGlinn's choice of using strip or ribeye for Philly cheesesteaks further elevates the eater's culinary journey. These high-quality cuts boast a perfect balance of marbling, which translates to umami flavors and a velvety tenderness, thanks to the intramuscular fat. As the shaved steak sizzles on the grill or stovetop, the marbling contributes to the creation of a mouthwatering texture, giving the handheld delight its renowned melt-in-your-mouth consistency.

In addition to the complementary veggies and cheese, a top-notch selection of red meat ensures that the essence of the protein takes center stage. As for the cheese, while some folks adore a generous amount of Cheez Whiz slathered on their Philly cheesesteaks, McGlinn typically chooses melted provolone for a more nuanced — or perhaps more elegant — palate. For an extra crunch, feel free to sprinkle on some julienned red and green bell peppers.

Properly seasoning the shaved steak enhances its one-of-a-kind, savory profile. McGlinn's suggested combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce creates a medley of flavors that accompany the natural richness of the meat. A thoughtful seasoning adds depth without overpowering the beefy notes, paving the way for the shaved steak to shine.