Philly cheesesteak is a classic American sandwich that originated from Philadelphia. It is made with thin slices of steak, melted cheese, and often sautéed onions and peppers, all served on a long, soft roll.
Philly cheesesteak has become a staple food in the US, and it is well known for its delicious and hearty flavor.
Cubed steak, on the other hand, is a type of beef steak made from tough cuts of meat that have been tenderized by pounding or running through a tenderizer. It is commonly used for dishes such as Salisbury steak, Swiss steak, and chicken-fried steak.
In this article, we will explore the use of cubed steak for Philly cheesesteaks, and whether it can be a suitable substitute for the traditional thin slices of steak.
What is a Philly Cheesesteak?
Origins and History
The Philly cheesesteak has a rich history dating back to the 1930s, when it was first created by Pat Olivieri, a hot dog vendor in South Philadelphia. He began using slices of beef steak instead of hot dogs in his sandwiches, and the rest is history.
The cheesesteak quickly became popular, and it has since become a cultural icon and a staple of Philadelphia cuisine.
Ingredients and Preparation
To make a classic Philly cheesesteak, you will need thin slices of steak, melted cheese, a long roll, and optionally sautéed onions and peppers.
The steak is usually cooked over high heat, then combined with the melted cheese and served on a long roll. There are many variations of this sandwich, with some adding mushrooms, mayonnaise, ketchup, or even lettuce and tomato.
Variations and Variants
Over the years, the Philly cheesesteak has evolved, and it now comes in many different forms.
Some popular variations include the cheese whiz cheesesteak, which is made with a processed cheese sauce, and the chicken cheesesteak, which uses chicken instead of beef steak.
What is Cubed Steak?
Definition and Characteristics
Cubed steak is a type of beef steak that is made from tough cuts of meat, such as round steak or sirloin.
The meat is tenderized by either pounding or running it through a tenderizer, which creates a tender, juicy steak that is easy to cook. Cubed steaks are typically sold in packages and are often round or oval in shape.
Uses and Popularity
Cubed steak is a popular ingredient in many comfort food dishes, such as Salisbury steak, Swiss steak, and chicken-fried steak. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, including stews, soups, and casseroles.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Cubed steak is a great option for those who are looking for a more affordable option for their meals. It is also a good option for those who are looking for a more convenient way to prepare steak, as it can be quickly cooked and does not require much preparation.
However, some people may find that it is not as tender as traditional steaks, and it may not have the same flavor profile.
Can You Use Cubed Steak for Philly Cheesesteak?
The Debate Among Cheesesteak Purists
The use of cubed steak for Philly cheesesteaks is a controversial topic, with some cheesesteak purists arguing that only thin slices of steak should be used in this sandwich.
They believe that the tender, juicy slices of steak are what make the cheesesteak so delicious, and that the use of cubed steak would result in a lesser-quality sandwich.
Comparison of Cubed Steak and Traditional Steak for Philly Cheesesteak
When compared to traditional slices of steak, cubed steak has a different texture and flavor profile. The tenderization process used to create cubed steak can result in a steak that is more tender and juicy, but it can also result in a steak that is less flavorful.
On the other hand, thin slices of steak are usually cut from high-quality cuts of beef, which results in a steak that has a more intense flavor and a tender texture.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Cubed Steak
There are several advantages to using cubed steak for Philly cheesesteaks, including convenience and affordability. Cubed steak is easy to cook, and it can be prepared quickly, making it a great option for those who are short on time.
It is also more affordable than traditional steaks, which makes it a great option for those who are on a budget.
However, there are also some disadvantages to using cubed steak, such as a lesser flavor profile and a different texture compared to traditional steaks.
How to Cook Cubed Steak for Philly Cheesesteak
Preparation and Ingredients
To cook cubed steak for a Philly cheesesteak, you will need cubed steak, a long roll, cheese, and optionally sautéed onions and peppers. You will also need a large skillet and some cooking oil.
Step by Step Guide to Cooking Cubed Steak for Philly Cheesesteak
- Heat the skillet over high heat and add the cooking oil.
- Add the cubed steak to the skillet and cook until browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side.
- Add the sautéed onions and peppers to the skillet and cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Place a slice of cheese on top of the steak and let it melt.
- Toast the long roll and place the steak mixture on top of the roll.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks for Best Results
When cooking cubed steak for a Philly cheesesteak, it is important to use high-heat to brown the steak and create a crust on the surface. This will help to enhance the flavor of the steak and make it more enjoyable to eat.
It is also important to use a high-quality cheese that will melt easily and provide the right balance of flavor and texture to the sandwich.
In conclusion, using cubed steak for Philly cheesesteaks or not is a matter of personal preference.
While it has its advantages, such as convenience and affordability, it also has its disadvantages, such as a lesser flavor profile and a different texture compared to traditional steaks.
Ultimately, the decision to use cubed steak or traditional steak for your Philly cheesesteaks will depend on your individual tastes and preferences.
What is the difference between cubed steak and traditional steak for Philly cheesesteaks?
Cubed steak is made by tenderizing cuts of beef through a mechanical process, while traditional steak for Philly cheesesteaks is usually cut from high-quality cuts of beef.
Cubed steak is more tender and juicy, but it has a less intense flavor compared to traditional steak.
Can cubed steak be used for other dishes besides Philly cheesesteaks?
Yes, cubed steak can be used in a variety of dishes, such as stews, stir-fries, and casseroles. It is a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in many different ways.
How does the tenderization process for cubed steak affect the flavor of the steak?
The tenderization process for cubed steak can result in a steak that is more tender, but it can also result in a steak that is less flavorful. The process can break down some of the flavor compounds in the steak, resulting in a less intense flavor profile.
Can other types of cheese be used in a Philly cheesesteak made with cubed steak?
Yes, you can use any type of cheese that you prefer in a Philly cheesesteak made with cubed steak. Some popular options include American cheese, provolone, and mozzarella.
Can sautéed onions and peppers be omitted in a Philly cheesesteak made with cubed steak?
Yes, you can omit the sautéed onions and peppers in a Philly cheesesteak made with cubed steak if you prefer. The sandwich will still be delicious without these ingredients, but they do add an extra layer of flavor and texture to the sandwich.