Are you a fan of Philly cheesesteaks but find the process of slicing the beef to be tedious and time-consuming?
You’re not alone. Many home cooks struggle with achieving the perfect thinness for their cheesesteak meat. But fear not, there are methods and tips that can help you achieve that mouthwatering, tender beef in every bite.
In this article, we’ll explore different ways to shave beef for cheesesteaks, including using a mandoline slicer and freezing the meat. Plus, we’ll share some expert tips on choosing the right cut of beef and adding flavorful toppings to take your cheesesteak game to the next level.
Get ready to impress your friends and family with your homemade cheesesteaks!
How To Shave Beef For Cheesesteaks?
There are a few different methods you can use to shave beef for cheesesteaks. One popular option is to use a mandoline slicer, which can create incredibly thin slices of meat. However, if you don’t have a mandoline slicer, there’s another method that can work just as well: freezing the meat.
To use the freezing method, simply place your steak in the freezer for enough time so that it becomes firm but not frozen solid. This will make it easier to slice thinly with a sharp knife or even a low-end meat slicer. Many home cooks find this method to be more accessible and less expensive than investing in a mandoline slicer or high-end meat slicer.
When slicing your beef, aim for slices that are about 1/8 inch thick. This will ensure that the meat is tender and easy to chew, without being too thin that it falls apart. If you’re using a meat slicer, be sure to clean it thoroughly after each use to prevent any bacteria from building up.
Why Slicing Beef For Cheesesteaks Can Be Challenging
Slicing beef for cheesesteaks can be challenging for a few reasons. First, you need to make sure that the meat is sliced thin enough to be tender and easy to chew. However, if the slices are too thin, they can fall apart and make the sandwich difficult to eat.
Another challenge when slicing beef for cheesesteaks is getting the slices to be evenly sized. If the slices are uneven, some parts of the sandwich may be overcooked while others are undercooked. This can also affect the texture of the sandwich, making it less enjoyable to eat.
Finally, if you’re using a rib-eye steak, which is traditionally used for cheesesteaks, it can be difficult to cut into thin slices because of its marbling. The marbling makes the meat more flavorful and tender, but it also makes it harder to slice evenly. This is where freezing the meat can come in handy, as it firms up the meat and makes it easier to slice thinly.
Choosing The Right Cut Of Beef For Cheesesteaks
Choosing the right cut of beef is crucial when making a delicious cheesesteak. While some recipes may suggest using flank steak or top round, the traditional and most popular choice is ribeye. This cut is well-marbled, which means it has a good amount of fat running through it, resulting in a juicy and flavorful sandwich.
When shopping for ribeye, look for grass-fed and grass-finished beef for the best results. The fat content in the ribeye is essential to the flavor and tenderness of the meat, so it’s important not to skimp on quality. Thinly sliced ribeye is ideal for a cheesesteak because it cooks quickly and evenly, making it easier to achieve the perfect texture.
While you can technically use other cuts of beef, such as sirloin or skirt steak, they may not have the same level of flavor or tenderness as ribeye. If you’re on a budget, try to find a well-marbled cut with good fat content, and slice it as thinly as possible to ensure that it cooks evenly.
Freezing The Meat To Make It Easier To Slice
One of the best ways to make it easier to slice beef for cheesesteaks is to freeze the meat beforehand. This method is especially helpful if you don’t have access to a mandoline slicer or a high-end meat slicer. Freezing the meat will make it firm enough to slice thinly with a sharp knife, without turning it icy.
To use this method, start by patting the meat dry with a paper towel to get rid of any excess water. Then, place the meat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze it for 15-20 minutes. Once the meat is firm, take it out of the freezer and slice it thinly with a well-sharpened knife.
It’s important to note that you should only use this method when your end goal is to have paper-thin slices of meat. For other recipes that call for sliced meat, such as stir-fry or pho, it’s generally advisable to bring the meat to room temperature before cooking it. But when you want those perfect, thin slices for your cheesesteak, freezing the meat beforehand can make all the difference.
When slicing your beef, aim for slices that are about 1/8 inch thick. This will ensure that the meat is tender and easy to chew, without being too thin that it falls apart. And if you’re using a low-end meat slicer, be sure to clean it thoroughly after each use to prevent any bacteria from building up. With this simple trick of freezing the meat, you’ll be able to shave beef for cheesesteaks like a pro in no time!
How To Use A Mandoline Slicer To Shave Beef For Cheesesteaks
If you do have a mandoline slicer and want to use it to shave beef for cheesesteaks, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure your mandoline slicer has an adjustable blade height. This will allow you to slice the meat at the thickness you desire.
Next, prepare your beef by cutting it into long, thin pieces and freezing them until they become firm but not frozen solid. This will make it easier to slice thinly and evenly with your mandoline slicer.
When you’re ready to slice your beef, remove it from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes until it softens slightly. Then, place one piece of beef on the mandoline slicer and use the safety guard or a fork to hold it in place. Begin slicing the beef, using a back-and-forth motion and applying even pressure.
As you slice the beef, be sure to keep your fingers away from the blade to avoid injury. You may also want to wear gloves for added protection.
Once all of your beef is sliced, you can cook it up for your cheesesteaks using your preferred method. Whether you use a griddle or a frying pan, be sure to cook the beef until it’s nicely browned and fully cooked through.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to use a mandoline slicer to shave beef for cheesesteaks like a pro!
Tips For Achieving The Perfect Thinness
Achieving the perfect thinness for your shaved beef is crucial for making a delicious cheesesteak. Here are some tips to help you get it just right:
1. Use a sharp knife: A dull knife will make it difficult to slice the beef thinly and evenly. Make sure your knife is sharp before you start slicing.
2. Cut against the grain: When slicing your beef, be sure to cut against the grain. This will help to break down the muscle fibers and make the meat more tender.
3. Freeze the meat: As mentioned above, freezing the meat for a short period of time can make it easier to slice thinly. Just be sure not to freeze it solid, as this can affect the texture of the meat.
4. Use a meat mallet: If you’re having trouble getting your beef thin enough, you can try using a meat mallet to pound it out before slicing.
5. Practice makes perfect: Slicing beef thinly takes practice, so don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out perfectly. Keep practicing and adjusting your technique until you get the perfect thickness for your cheesesteak.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to achieve the perfect thinness for your shaved beef and make a delicious cheesesteak that rivals those from Philly’s most famous sandwich shops.
Adding Flavorful Toppings To Your Cheesesteaks
While the beef is the star of the show in a cheesesteak sandwich, adding flavorful toppings can take your sandwich to the next level. One classic topping is sautéed onions, which can be cooked until they are caramelized and sweet. Adding peppers, such as green or red bell peppers, can also bring a pop of color and flavor to your sandwich.
To prepare your onions and peppers, finely dice them and sauté them in a frying pan over medium heat coated with olive oil spray. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper and cook for 10 minutes until they are tender and starting to brown or caramelize. Once cooked, you can add Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar to add even more flavor.
Another popular topping for cheesesteaks is cheese. While American cheese is the classic choice, you can experiment with different types of cheese to find your favorite. Provolone, mozzarella, or even Cheez Whiz are all popular choices. To melt the cheese onto your sandwich, place it on top of the beef and toppings while still in the pan and cover with a lid until it has melted.
Finally, don’t forget about condiments! Some people prefer ketchup or mayo on their cheesesteak, while others opt for hot sauce or even barbecue sauce. Experiment with different sauces to find your perfect combination.
By adding these flavorful toppings to your shaved beef cheesesteak, you can create a sandwich that is not only delicious but also uniquely your own.