This post has been sponsored by The Hatch Chile Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Recently, I was commissioned to create a ‘New Mexican’ style cheesesteak sandwich for a very popular outdoor griddle manufacturer. This recipe would reflect the very best flavors my home state has to offer and would be included in one of their cookbooks. It worked out perfectly that I happen to be a brand ambassador for The Hatch Chile Store, who agreed to team up with me and Blackstone Griddles to create this mouthwatering recipe for you!
The cheesesteak sandwich or “Philly cheesesteaks” were invented in Philadelphia in the 1930’s and continue to be a sensation today. People all around the US and abroad can’t resist the delicous taste of tender grilled beef smothered in melty cheese on a toasted artisan bun. However, the folks in Philadelphia are very particular of their cheesesteak sandwiches and how they should be made; they don’t take kindly to change. They are very proud of their delicious creation!
Kudos to Blackstone Griddles and their bravery because they have embarked on a mission to “Free the Philly!” by gathering unique cheesesteak recipes representing each of our fifty-nifty United States. I thought it was a super fun idea and I was so honored to be asked to create the cheesesteak for the state of New Mexico!
After all, cheesers are so dang good why not take that delicious original Philly flavor and have fun with it! From the start I knew this sandwich had to be full of delicious Hatch chile. I also thought of going crazy and switching to tortillas (or even sopapillas) in place of the bun, and maybe using a spicy cheese in place of the original provolone for the ‘melty cheese’ component of the sandwich. I had soooo many different ideas come to mind.
After lots of research on Philly cheesesteaks, their origins, and how important this sandwich is to the city of Philadelphia, I really wanted to do it justice. I wanted to create a recipe that people would identify immediately as a cheesesteak sandwich; yet be different. So the “Burque Cheesesteak” was born.
What is traditionally on a cheesesteak?
People all over the USA love cheesesteak sandwiches; but what exactly is on a classic cheesesteak sandwich? Let me explain below.
Shaved, high-quality beef such as ribeye steak, along with caramelized chopped onions, and melted provolone or cheese-whiz cheese (and sometimes both) served on a toasted hoagie roll is what you’ll find on a traditional cheesesteak sandwich from Philly. It is actually an extremely simple sandwich, yet possibly the most famous of American sandwiches aside from the hamburger. A lot of people outside of Philly will include sautéed red and green bell pepper and spread mayo or aioli on the bun, but this is not traditional for cheesers ordered from Philadelphia restaurants.
I wanted my New Mexican ‘cheesers’ (Philly’s nickname for the sandwich) to be easily identifiable as a cheesesteak sandwich, so I kept much of the original look and feel, but found lots of ways to make it taste uniquely New Mexican, as I explain below.
Here’s where I deviate from the original; The Burque Cheesesteak Sandwich is STUFFED with Hatch green chile flavor in more ways than one. I start by tossing the shaved raw ribeye beef with green chile powder and salt to season and tenderize the meat. I let the meat sit and season on the counter for at least 45 minutes before putting it on the griddle.
Moving on to the onions (also VERY important to the sandwich), when my onions were caramelized on the griddle, I stirred them up with a generous helping of roasted, peeled, and chopped Hatch green chile from The Hatch Chile Store. Oh the smell was amazing guys! My mouth is watering just thinking about it……
I found that cheeses like pepper jack or jalapeno cheddar had a flavor that was too strong and competitive with the green chile. Sticking with the classic Provolone cheese was the thing to do; its mild flavor complimented the green chile perfectly. To top the sandwich off, I gave each a garnishing drizzle of Hatch red chile sauce for an extra kick and a pop of color.
Why are Hatch Chiles so special?
Hatch Chile is world renown for it’s delicious flavor, due to the unique climate, soil composition, and cultivars that exist only in the Hatch valley of New Mexico. These factors combine to grow exceptional chile peppers with the perfect blend of smoky, sweet and hot flavor notes. More people discover Hatch Chiles each year, and their popularity continues to grow.
Growing up in New Mexico where chile peppers are an integral part of the culture, I know that Hatch chiles have earned a reputation for being the best of the best. I personally only use authentic Hatch in all my cooking because it simply tastes amazing. You should be able to find canned Hatch chile in any supermarket these days, or you can order it directly like I do. Frozen chile is much, much better tasting than canned!
The Hatch Chile Store is the premiere website for ordering your Hatch chile– they are incredibly good at shipping fresh authentic chile right to your door, whatever variety and hotness lever you prefer. It’s where I get all my Hatch Chile, and I must say the flavor really does stand out above any other chile pepper variety.
Head on over now to The Hatch Chile Store to stock up on the most delicious Hatch chile you can buy anywhere- they’ve always got great deals on your favorite products!
What makes Philly cheesesteak taste so good?
A big secret (well it’s not a secret anymore) to the fantastic taste of ordering a Philly cheesesteak sandwich IN Philly is the cooking oil they use to saute the beef on the griddle. It’s a mixture of rendered beef fat called ‘tallow’ and vegetable oil. This mixture gives an extra oomph of flavor to the steak, while promoting crusty brown spots, and helping the steak to stay moist.
Tallow can be a little difficult to find- you can ask your local meat counter if they have any or make it yourself- but you’re more likely to find it at a specialty meat store. HOWEVER, I have a fantastic substitute– I always save my bacon drippings (grease left in the pan from cooking bacon) so I used that in place of the tallow! It did NOT make my steak taste like bacon, but it did give it a bump in flavor and moisture. If you use this tip please leave a comment below and tell me how it worked out for you!
What meat is cheesesteak?
If you are wanting to create a delicious melty cheesesteak sandwich at home, you may wonder what the best cut of beef would be? Or is there one specific type of beef; or can you use many different types of meat for a cheesesteak? Let’s explore the answer below.
Any high-quality cuts of beef can be used to make cheesesteak sandwiches, but the most common is ribeye (bone in or boneless, it doesn’t matter) or top round. Often home chefs will use skirt steak or other less expensive cuts of beef. Cheesesteak sandwich meat is traditionally shaved or sliced very very thin, so it’s tender and cooks up very quickly. It should have a decent amount of marbling (strings or pockets of fat) throughout, which mostly melt away and help the thinly sliced steak to stay moist.
What’s the difference between a cheesesteak and a Philly cheesesteak?
Cheesesteak sandwiches were invented in Philadelphia, hence the nickname “Philly cheesesteak”. However, people who actually live in the city of Philadelphia just call them ‘cheesesteaks’ or ‘cheesers’. Both names are interchangeable and refer to the same sandwich.
A true Philly cheesesteak ordered and eaten in Philly is definitely on my bucket list. After spending hours researching this article I have a new appreciation for it and I can’t wait to try one!
I, of course, have created something VERY different from a traditional sandwich with my ‘Burque Cheesesteak recipe. It will not taste like a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, but I hope that it’s equally delicious in it’s own way and that you enjoy it for what it is.
What kind of cheese is on a Philly cheesesteak?
You can be creative and put any kind of cheese you want on your cheesesteak, but if you want authentic taste, follow the recomendations below.
Classic cheesesteak sandwiches are made with Provolone cheese, however Cheese Wiz and American sliced cheese are also extremely popular and have made their way into many classic Philly cheesesteak sandwich restaurants in the Philly area in recent years.
These varieties of cheese pair beautifully with the steak because of their gooey melty nature. A great cheeser will have lots of melty cheese everywhere, and strings of cheese when you pull that sandwich apart!
Philly cheesesteak bread
When people set out to re-create the cheesesteak sandwich at home, often the bread is overlooked. But many of my sources say that the right type of bread is essential for creating a truly delicious tasting cheeseteak sandwich. So why is the bread so important?
A great cheesesteak sandwich will use a freshly baked long hoagie bun, sometimes crusted with sesame seeds, featuring a crackly crust and a very sponge-like interior. The interior soakes up all the meat juice, while the crunchy crust locks it all in- holding your sandwich together and providing a great crunch to compliment the soft, creamy, steak and cheese filling.
In Philadelphia, Amoroso’s bakery and Liscio’s bakery are a couple of top suppliers of the hoagie rolls used in the local restaurants for cheesers, providing hundreds of freshly baked artisan buns everyday to the Philadelphia area. And there are many more Italian bakeries in Philly that produce fantastic artisan bread!
Did you know I have a full-color cookbook with lots more easy and delicious New Mexican recipes? You can learn more about it here!Print