John and I both grew up a short drive away from Philadelphia—John just across the Delaware in New Jersey, and I on the PA side of the same river, about 40 minutes north. So naturally, like many other Philly identifiers, we have opinions about cheese steaks. Whiz wit? (John’s a Cheez Whiz guy, but I’ve always gone with a mix of sliced American and provolone.) Fried onions and peppers? (YES.) Mushrooms? (Yes for me, no for John.) Ketchup? (Obviously.) Mayo? (Never.)
And since I just can’t seem to find interest in the hubbub over this weekend’s Eagles playoff game—despite lots of very serious cram sessions—I decided to channel my Philly pride and create a pizzafied version of the classic cheese steak sandwich instead. Now that’s something I can get excited about!
Feel free to customize your pizza according to your cheese steak preferences, but do me a favor and don’t skimp on the meat. You want a steak with lots of marbling, so it won’t dry out in the oven. For the same reason, it’s important that you stir-fry the meat for no longer than instructed and top the pizza in this order: ketchup, then steak, then vegetables, and finally cheese. If the steak is on top when it goes in the oven, it will easily get overcooked.
Also, although this pizza can be made on a baking sheet or pizza pan, it’s best on a baking steel or stone, where it can bake for less time at a higher heat.