Cheesesteak sliders present both an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity lies in their excellence as smaller versions of a beloved sandwich, a shareable and fun food. You can fix up a great big pan of steak and cheese, drop it on some buns, and you're all done.
The challenge, however, lies in making them authentic enough to earn the Philly moniker. The right kind of thinly-sliced steak (usually ribeye) and cheese (typically Cheez Whiz or provolone), you see, is not enough. True Philly cheesesteaks are served on fresh Italian-style rolls. These rolls are made from lean dough, which eschews rich ingredients such as butter, milk, eggs, and sugar, the very things that many hamburger and slider buns rely on for their soft texture and tender crumb.
The best place to find ingredients for Philly cheesesteak sliders that fit the bill is an Asian market. While they might not carry the provolone or the whiz, they often have a great selection of thinly sliced cuts of beef such as ribeye, New York strip, and sirloin, which are normally destined for things such as Korean barbecue and shabu-shabu. Asian markets also usually carry an array of slider-sized rolls. For the most authentic Philly taste, look for bread that's low in fat and sugar.
- 4 tablespoons oil or butter (divided)
- 1 small onion (sliced into half-moons)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 pounds thinly sliced steak (such as ribeye)
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- 8 slider buns or dinner rolls
- Optional: cheese sauce
Gather the ingredients.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil or butter in a griddle or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened.
Add the mushrooms and another 2 tablespoons of oil. Sauté with the onions for 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the sliced steak. Use a spatula to break apart the meat as it cooks, mixing with the mushrooms and onions.
When all the steak has browned, lower the heat and lay the slices of provolone down evenly over the steak, mushrooms and onions.
When the provolone is half melted, turn off the heat. The residual heat will keep melting the cheese.
Pile the steak mixture onto slider buns, top with optional cheese sauce, and serve immediately.
It's not uncommon to serve a cheesesteak in Philly with a few other additions, so here are some ideas if you want to amplify the flavor of your sliders
- Add fried onions, peppers, or mushrooms, or some combination of the three. Onions are the most common.
- Use Cheez Whiz if you want the most authentic taste; it's what traditionally tops a cheesesteak. You can also use provolone as this recipe does, or American.
- If you can't find slider rolls that are the right consistency, improvise. Buy Italian bread, or hoagie or sub rolls and make a full-sized cheesesteak. Instead of cutting it in half, cut it into slider-size increments, every 3 to 4 inches or so.