Camping Recipes: Cheese steak subs

By: Lynn Bain, Photography by: Lynn Bain

The iconic ‘Philly’ cheese steak sandwich is a thing of beauty.

Camping Recipes: Cheese steak subs
The term sub comes from the word ‘submarine’ because the rolls are the shape of a submarine

A sub (aka the ‘hoagie’ or Hog Island sandwich) is a sandwich built by inserting filling into a long baguette-type roll. The term sub comes from the word ‘submarine’ because the rolls are the shape of a submarine.

A Philadelphia cheesesteak is a sub made from very thinly sliced pieces of steak plus melted cheese, in what we Aussies would call a hot dog roll. The real deal uses provolone cheese, which is sort of like mozzarella. It is the use of melted cheese that typifies this version of a sandwich roll. Fortunately, provolone is readily available in most Aussie supermarkets.

The famous Philly Cheese Steak originated in the American city of Philadelphia in the 1930s. However, these days, there are a few variations of the original that many agree are just as good.

I’ve been to Philadelphia on a road trip and, while there, I ate my way through a variety of their Philly Cheese Steaks; it was hard to pick a favourite from the many that impressed me. Here are two that I derived after my experiences...

Cheese Steak Sub 1

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5-10 minutes

The following quantities will make two sub sandwiches

  • 2 crusty hot dog-style bread rolls, sliced lengthways
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small green capsicum, deseeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 400g steak, very thinly sliced 
  • 200g provolone, thinly sliced

Heat a cast iron frypan or wok over a medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan and when it is hot, add the sliced onions and green capsicum to the pan. Stir-fry the onions and capsicum for about five minutes or until the onion mixture has softened and caramelised slightly.

Now add the garlic, salt and pepper to the onion mixture and continue to cook for another minute. Remove the mixture from the pan and place to one side while you cook the meat. Add the thin meat slices to the pan and sear for a couple of minutes.

Arrange the meat on one half/side of each halved bread roll. Top the meat with the onion/capsicum mixture and then arrange thin slices of the cheese on top of the onion mixture. Place the loaded roll halves on the grill and heat the cheese from above until the cheese is golden and melted soft.

Pop the other half of the roll on top of the melted cheese, squeeze down for a moment, and serve.

Cheese Steak Sub 2

This version of the sandwich substitutes large flat mushrooms such as portobello for the green capsicum in the first version. 

  • 2 hot dog-style rolls, sliced lengthways
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 large, flat mushrooms, stems removed
  • 500g seared steak, thinly sliced
  • 200g provolone or mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Heat your saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan and when the oil is hot, add the onions and the pinch of salt. Sauté the onions for about 10 minutes, stirring them from time to time. 

When the onions are softened and caramelised, remove them from the pan and place to one side. You may need to add a little more oil to the pan in which you cooked the onions before sautéing the garlic and mushrooms. Add the crushed garlic to the pan and stir-fry for a minute before adding the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms on both sides until softened. They will give out a little liquid as they cook. Continue to cook until the liquid has been re-absorbed. This will add an amazing mushroom flavour to the completed sandwich. Remove them from the pan and place to one side.

Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat.

To assemble the Philly sandwich, place an equal amount of the meat on the bottom halves of the bread rolls. Top the meat with the onions and then place perhaps three mushroom flats on top of the onions. Place the cheese slices on top of the mushrooms and then place the rolls under the hot grill. As in the previous recipe, grill until the cheese is melted and golden.

Remove the rolls from under the grill, pop on the top halves of the rolls and serve. 

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The full feature appeared in Caravan World #534 January 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!