“Whiz Wit” Philly Cheesesteak Cheeseburger

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.

Philadelphia is renowned for its delicious cheesesteaks, and the famous sandwich has long been the subject of debate on what really comprises the best cheesesteak.There are those that insist the best cheesesteak has fried onions and cheese wiz (ordered “whiz wit”) and others who swear by provolone cheese and still others that won’t eat one without fried peppers. This burger incorporates all the basics of the famous cheesesteak including fried onions and peppers, thin rib eye and a gourmet cheese sauce, all carefully layered in the middle of a delicious juicy burger! The burger is then topped with quality sharp provolone, lettuce and grilled tomatoes. The result is a new variation of the cheesesteak that burger aficionados are sure to love.


2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup grated shallots
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Fried Onions and Peppers
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 large red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

Cheese Sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup crème fraiche
16 ounce shredded yellow cheddar cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

6 large tomato slices, 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon Colavita extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

6 ounces very thinly sliced, good quality ribeye steak

12 slices good quality sharp provolone cheese
6 soft Kaiser rolls
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
6 Boston lettuce leaves


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the patties, combine the chuck, shallots, oregano, salt and pepper in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 12 equal patties to fit the bun size. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To make the onions and peppers, in a large bowl mix the oil, salt, onions, red pepper and poblano pepper. Place mixture in a grilling basket and grill, shaking the basket occasionally, until soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

To make cheese sauce, heat a large, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Place butter and crème fraiche in skillet and cook until hot and butter is melted. Remove skillet from grill, slowly stir in cheese, salt and paprika. When cheese is melted, pour over onions and peppers mixture. Mix well and set aside.

Brush the tomato slices and the grill basket with the olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the tomato slices, place in the grill basket and grill for 5 minutes. Remove basket from grill and set aside.

On 6 of the chuck patties, place equal amounts of the cheese mixture followed by 1 ounce of the ribeye steak. Top with the remaining 6 chuck patties and pinch edges firmly together to seal.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. Place two slices of provolone cheese on each patty during the last 3 minutes of grilling. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of mayonnaise on cut sides of bun and sprinkle paprika lightly over mayonnaise. On each bun bottom place one patty, a tomato slice and a lettuce leaf. Add the bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers