I know I get a little fancy around here sometimes so I thought I should throw in a simpler recipe every now and then. Sometimes simpler really is better. You might find this as a surprise but I don't always have time (or the desire) to cook all day. Plus, I love a good sandwich. This Philly cheesesteak only takes a few simple ingredients and comes together pretty quickly once the meat is sliced.
What Cut of Meat do I use?
Thinly sliced ribeye steak is the traditional meat for Philly cheesesteaks. The venison equivalent of the ribeye is the backstrap or loin. I found it a little too painful to cut up a perfectly good backstrap so I used a sirloin roast instead. Ribeyes are prized for their marbling but venison doesn't have much, if any, fat. This is where my favorite cooking fat comes in handy - lard. It enhances the meat a bit by adding some fatty richness.
How do I cut meat for a Philly cheesesteak?
In order to get paper thin slices of meat, you need 2 things: a sharp knife and a mostly frozen piece of meat. I find it much easier to slice meat thinly when it's still frozen. It's super important to slice the meat as thin as you can for this recipe. Otherwise, it could be a little tough to bite through. Once the meat is sliced thinly, I like to thaw it the rest of the way on paper towels (in the fridge, of course). This helps remove any off flavors in the meat and will also help brown the meat better.
What is Worcestershire Sauce?
The seasoning for the steak is pretty simple - salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire sauce is one of my favorite ways to season wild game. It's a great addition to burgers, meatloaf, broths, cheesesteaks, etc. Worcestershire sauce is made up of all sorts of funky and fermented flavors - onions, garlic, vinegar, and anchovies are some of the main flavors. They all come together for a flavor packed sauce that's sure to take your cheesesteak to the next level. Oh and if you're wondering, Google says to pronounce worcestershire "wu·stuh·shr." Thanks Google, but I'm not really sure if that helps me.
What vegetables are on a Philly cheesesteak?
Philly cheesesteaks can have a variety of vegetables in them like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, hot peppers, etc. I've been told on multiple occasions that green bell peppers have no place in our kitchen so I opted for a red and yellow bell pepper. I don't think green peppers are bad but I do prefer the flavor of the other colors. Plus I love the colors. I sauté the vegetables in a little bit of lard and season them with salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce. Pretty simple!
Putting it all together:
No Philly Cheesesteak would be complete without, you guessed it, cheese. Apparently the type of cheese you use on a Philly Cheesesteak is a big point of controversy. You're either on the provolone side or the Cheez Whiz side. I opted for the more "natural" state of cheese and used provolone for this recipe. With a lean meat like venison, it can be difficult to not overcook the meat and still have that perfectly gooey melted cheese. I like to add the cheese right after I mix in the worcestershire sauce so that the meat can finish cooking and the cheese can melt at the same time. Layer the vegetables and cheesy meat on a toasted hoagie roll and top with spicy brown mustard. The mustard is optional but adds a little kick to the sandwich that I really enjoy. Serve with some tater tots and your favorite beer and dig in!
Venison Philly Cheesesteak
- 1 ¼ lb venison sirloin roast
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, cut in half, then sliced
- 3 tablespoon lard, divided
- 5 tablespoon worcestershire sauce, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 hoagie rolls
- butter (optional)
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- spicy brown mustard (optional)
- Allow roast to thaw slightly under refrigeration. You want it to be mostly frozen but soft enough to cut through. Slice meat paper thin against the grain. Place slices of meat on a paper towel-lined sheet pan in a single layer. Cover and refrigerate until fully thawed.
- Heat cast iron griddle over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon lard to pan and spread it around so it coats the whole pan. Add peppers and onions and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until softened and starting to brown. Add 2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce and stir to coat vegetables. Cook 1 more minute. Remove from pan and set aside. Keep warm until ready to use.
- Butter insides of hoagie rolls if desired. Place on hot griddle, with the inside facing down, and toast for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
- Just before cooking, season meat slices with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoon lard to the hot griddle and spread it around. Add meat slices in a single layer to the griddle. You will probably have to cook it in 2 batches.
- Cook meat 1-2 minutes per side. Once meat is almost done cooking, move it all into a pile on the griddle and add 1 ½ tablespoon worcestershire sauce (3 tablespoon if you were able to fit all the meat on the griddle).
- Move meat into 4 even piles on the griddle. Top each pile with 2 slices provolone cheese. Continue cooking until melted, about 2 minutes.
- To each hoagie roll, add peppers and onions, and top with meat and cheese. Serve with spicy brown mustard if desired. Enjoy!