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Steak ‘N Cheese

December 13, 2013

Look out Philly! I’ve pumped up your veggies and crocked your beef, switched out your cheese, and come up with a lighter version that would challenge any native’s taste buds. Intense heat searing before crocking, gives your chuck roast that high end steak “feel”. Swaddled in peppers, onions and mushrooms, pepperoncini for a twist and embraced with melted provolone takes this classic to a new level.

2 lb. chuck roast, without an overwhelming amount of  visible fat

2 T. of Worcestershire to marinate

8 large mushrooms, sliced thick

1 large onion, rough dice

2 cloves garlic, smashed

10-15 pepperoncini, stems removed  (optional-but a nice kick)

3 diced tomatoes, seeds  removed

1 bag mini sweet peppers, or 3 peppers  of your color choice if you can’t find minis

1/4 C. red wine ( I used Shiraz)

1 T. Worcestershire

1 generous  tablespoon Italian  seasoning

1 T. black pepper

1 T. McCormick Montreal Steak seasoning

8 slices provolone

Good sub rolls ( I used Cuban bread, so I could portion different  sizes)

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Marinate your roast in the 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire. No more. No other seasonings. You want the beef to drink the flavor not swim in  it. I marinated it for 6 hours, beginning  when I woke  to be able to put it in the crock at noon. Prep your veggies. If you have not discovered Little Sweets I would  suggest  searching them out. Aside from being  adorable,  compact,  sweet siblings of the large pepper, they are  an  endless  source of creative couplings. Raw and stuffed with  a  garlic ricotta they make a snappy appetizer ..but that is   a different   entry for  another  day. If you can’t find them,  long  slices of  larger peppers  are easily  substituted. I like the addition of  the pepperoncini. They add more tang than heat, as cooking neutralized  them. You may leave  them out.

Set your  crock pot to 5 hours on high. Dry your roast off well. Turn the heat on high under your frying pan, and when hot add  a scant few drops of oil. When smoking, add your very dried off chuck roast. You want a very caramelized sear. This  will give your chuck the taste of  filet.. Really.. I mean it! Sear well for 2-3 minutes on each side on high. Don’t turn the heat  down. Remove and put into the  warmed  crock pot.

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Lower heat to medium under the pan and add onions, garlic,mushrooms and peppers to it. Add your dry seasonings. Doing this now blooms  their flavor, and keeps  them from turning your  crock  broth  bitter (the downside to dry seasonings added  directly to your  crock  stocks).  Saute  for 5 minutes, and then add your tomatoes  and pepperoncini.

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Toss for 2 minutes or so and then add wine and Worcestershire to deglaze the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add to the crockpot, blanketing your seared roast. After 4 hours on high, cook another 1 1/2 hours on low. Serve or put on warm, until ready to assemble sandwiches.

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Yes- it  shrinks!

Remove the roast and let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting. While it is resting, line your rolls with the provolone, letting some of the cheese  hang over the side.. Slice the beef in thick strips or chunks. Don’t shred it! Using a slotted spoon, get some of those richly flavored veggies from the liquid and spoon them over the top. Flop that hanging  cheese over your veggies. If you want to add  another slice on top go right ahead! My goal was to have something not quite as caloric, but with that same Philly cheese steak ring to it.

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Serve with a side of krunchy kale chips.

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