We recently spent a few days in Philly doing some covid-conscious sight-seeing. There is so much to enjoy in the “city of brotherly love”. I’ll always associate Philadelphia with the movie “National Treasure”. What the city lacks in actual Nicholas Cage vicinity, it succeeds with Americana and Cheesesteak sandwiches. Rumor has it the original sandwich was made on a hotdog cart and a local cabbie who tried it recommended they quit selling hotdogs and focus on sandwiches. The first versions of the sandwich only contained beef and onions on an Italian roll. Today’s version is typically topped with provolone or Cheese Wiz (yes, the canned spread that barely qualifies as cheese) and served with onions and sometimes peppers.
We had to do a proper taste test so we stopped by the two spots that both claim to be the origin of Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. Conveniently they are facing each other from opposite street corners in southeast Philadelphia.
The flavors in this meal are better than your taste buds can hope to experience. Sandwiches are quite large, and perfect for sharing. We opted for a classic beefsteak and onion sandwich, hold the cheese, from Pat’s King of Steaks.
I loved Geno’s because they had separate lines for sandwiches and French fries- how efficient! Any place that has a French fry line gets my vote.
When we got back from this trip I knew I had to find a way incorporate these flavors into a meal that fit within my every day dietary needs. And so I present, my personal take on bell peppers stuffed with “Philly cheesesteak”. This recipe would be fantastic on a Whole30, just omit the cheese.
Bell Pepper Stuffed Philly Cheesesteak: Serves 4.
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Diets: Whole30, Keto, Low Carb, Grain Free
- Cutting Board
- Paring Knife
- Large Chopping Knife
- Baking Sheet
- Large Frying pan or Cast Iron Pan
- Large Stirring Spoon
- 1 large Onion, red or white
- 2 cups fresh organic Mushrooms
- 1 lb Grass-fed Ground Beef, 80/20 or 85/15 fat preferred
- 4 large Bell Peppers
- 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 tbsp dried Italian Seasoning herbs
- 1/2 cup cheddar or provolone, if desired (omit for Whole30)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
With a large chopping knife, cut bell peppers in half from stem to bottom. Use the paring knife to cut out the pith (the white part) and clean out seeds. Place peppers on a baking sheet (insides facing down) and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the peppers so they are facing up, like bowls, and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the peppers are softened. Remove peppers from oven and allow them to cool.
With your pan set at medium high heat, add 1lb of ground beef and a few shakes of salt and pepper. Stir in dried Italian seasoning. After the meat is fully cooked (about 10 minutes), remove the meat from the pan and on to a plate, leaving any remaining fat.
Meanwhile, start chopping the onion and mushrooms. Thinly slice your white onion- you want the pieces to be long and skinny like ribbons. Hand wash then chop the mushrooms. Pieces should be about 1/4 inch thick. After you’ve separated the meat from the fats, add the onion and mushrooms to the pan.
Cook veggies on low, stirring occasionally. Onions and mushrooms are done when they are softened- about 10 minutes.
When veggies are cooked, add the cooked meat back into the frying pan with onions and mushrooms and mix to combine. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and stir on low heat for 3 minutes. Using your large spoon, fill bell peppers to their capacity, about 3/4 cup each of filling. Top with sliced cheese, if desired. Pop your baking sheet back in the oven for 15 minutes, setting the oven to “broil” for the last 5 minutes.
Pair this dish with some oven fries (homemade or frozen- no judgement there!) and you’ve got a fantastic dinner reminiscent of Philadelphia itself.