Smoked Prime Rib Cheesesteak Sandwich (that made me cry!)

prime rib cheesesteak sandwich

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Learn how to make a prime rib cheesesteak on the griddle using leftover prime rib. Whip up an awesome homemade horseradish mayo to go on top and get some tips for making the best ever cheesesteak sandwich!

If you would have told me a week ago that I would be shedding tears over a cheesesteak, then I probably would have said you were crazy.

But that’s exactly what happened when I took the first bite of this Smoked Prime Rib Cheesesteak.

I don’t know if it was the literal YEARS of anticipation, the comment that I had received about “you’re not on the level of the barbecue greats… stick to griddling”, or the fact that this cheesesteak was just flat-out fantastic, but just one bite was all it took to get the tears flowing.

This awesome cheesesteak sandwich had been on my list of things to make on the griddle long before I actually had a pellet smoker. Could I have smoked the rib roast on my Weber kettle charcoal grill? You bet. I actually have a detailed post here for how to use your charcoal grill as a smoker.

But I knew that eventually I would be adding a pellet smoker to my collection of outdoor cooking equipment, so I decided to file this leftover prime rib cheesesteak recipe away for that time. And the time is NOW!

Here’s how to make an awesome prime rib cheesesteak on the griddle using leftover smoked prime rib:

A Brief Explanation of the Prime Rib

You can’t make a prime rib cheesesteak without the main ingredient… prime rib. And there are a thousand different ways to make it. Different seasonings to use, different internal temperatures to get to, different rubs, different binders, different cooking methods… I could go on and on. But here’s how I made my prime rib on the Pit Boss Navigator 850 Pellet Smoker:

To prep the prime rib roast for the smoker:

First, I made a binder to lather all over the roast. A “binder” in barbecue terms is simply a wet rub that is applied to meat to give the dry seasonings something to stick to. You can use a simple yellow mustard binder (which I’ve done in the past for frying fish) or even a barbecue sauce binder (that my wife absolutely LOVES on her grilled ribeye steaks). But for this prime rib roast, I wanted a binder that would pack a punch of flavor.

spreading a binder onto a rib roast

Remember, a prime rib roast is a very big chunk of meat, and the only part of the roast that you’re able to season is the outside. Once you slice the cooked roast into individual prime rib steaks, there’s only seasoning around the outer edges, so you want your seasonings and binder to count.

ingredients for smoked prime rib

For my binder, I mixed these ingredients together in a bowl:

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

When your wet binder is made, use a spoon to slather it all over your prime rib roast – top, bottom, and sides.

Then, sprinkle your favorite steak seasonings or rub all over the meat. I used the Pit Boss Bold Burger Rub (one of my favorite all purpose seasonings… a nice blend of salt, pepper, garlic, and butter) and the Pit Boss Chicago BBQ Rub. Just like you did with the binder, make sure to get the top, bottom, and sides of the prime rib.

seasoning a prime rib roast

*CHEF’S TIP – When seasoning meat, I like to season the presentation side last. The “presentation side” is the side of the meat (steak, chops, fish, etc) that will be facing up on the plate when you serve it… or the side that the customer sees first when their entree is delivered to them. In other words, season the bottom of your meat FIRST so that when you flip it upside down, the top side can get seasoned without having any wire rack marks or finger marks in it.

When the prime rib roast is seasoned and your smoker or grill is preheated, it’s time to start cooking it.

To cook the prime rib roast:

To smoke the prime rib roast, I set it on a wire rack on top of a foil-lined sheet tray. Then, I put the entire sheet tray on the far side of my smoker, the farthest away from the fire box. Next, insert a probe thermometer into the center of the prime rib so that you can monitor the internal temperature and gauge when the roast is done.

Here’s what my prime rib looked like going on the Pit Boss Navigator… my smoker was preheated to about 225-250 degrees:

cooking a prime rib roast on a smoker

Then, cooking prime rib is just a waiting game.

Continue to monitor your grill or smoker to ensure that it maintains the desired temperature (the smoking sweet spot temp is about 250 degrees), and also keep an eye on the internal temp of your roast. You can find a temperature guide for cooking prime rib here.

One thing to remember… if you’re going to use the leftover prime rib to make cheesesteaks, then you’ll essentially be cooking the prime rib twice – once for the actual prime rib and once when you use the leftovers to make prime rib cheesesteak. So I would err on the side of rarer.

I actually pulled my prime rib off the grill at about 115 degrees internal temperature, and then I allowed it to rest for a full hour. Of course there will be some carryover cooking with that long of a rest period as well. *And as a disclaimer, I have to point out that the USDA recommends that prime rib and similar roasts be cooked to an internal temp of 145 degrees to prevent foodborne illness.

But remember, you’ll be using the prime rib to make cheesesteaks, so it will get plenty hot enough on the griddle.

Here’s what my roast looked like coming off the smoker:

smoked prime rib roast

Other Ingredients for Prime Rib Cheesesteak

Once you’ve made the prime rib (whether you smoke it or oven bake it), refrigerate any leftovers to use for your cheesesteak sandwiches. And here are the other ingredients I used:

  • smoked gouda
  • sliced mushrooms
  • onion
  • bread of your choice – We used a twin French bread because I like the slightly crunchy exterior and the soft interior.

Ingredients for the Horseradish Mayo Spread

We served our prime rib cheesesteak with an awesome homemade horseradish mayo that’s really easy to whip up. For the sauce, we just combined these ingredients in a bowl:

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon A-1 Sweet Hickory Sauce – Or you can substitute another sweet steak sauce… I’ve really been liking this A1 variety lately for different homemade sauces.
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish – You can add more or less horseradish depending on how spicy you want your spread to be.

How to Make Prime Rib Cheesesteak on the Griddle

Step 1: Slice your leftover prime rib.

Before I started slicing the prime rib roast, I removed the “tail”, or the fattier pointy end. You can leave it attached to the roast and slice it as you’re prepping your meat, but I chose to cut the tail into larger chunks and start them on the griddle first. Because the tail of my roast had a higher fat content, I knew that it would produce some awesome liquid gold flavor when heated on the griddle, so I used that to my advantage… Just like you would cook bacon on the griddle first and then use the leftover bacon grease to flavor your hash browns.

slicing prime rib for cheesesteak

Slice your leftover prime rib roast into very thin slices. You want to get as close to “shaved” meat as your knife skills allow, but if you can’t get perfectly thin and even slices, don’t worry. You can use your spatula and scraper to chop up your meat while it’s cooking on the griddle.

Step 2: Prep the other ingredients for your cheesesteak sandwich.

When the leftover prime rib is sliced, go ahead and prep the other ingredients to get them ready for the griddle. Thinly slice an onion and slice some smoked gouda cheese, or your cheese of choice. I really liked that the smokiness of the gouda complimented the smoked prime rib.

shaved prime rib, sliced onion, and sliced cheese

Step 3: Cook the mushrooms and onions on the griddle first.

When your griddle is preheated, go ahead and add a bit of your favorite cooking oil to the surface and start sautéing the mushrooms and onions.

I prefer to cook mushroom and onions separately, and then mix them together when both are done cooking. Why? Because mushrooms release SO much moisture as they’re cooking, and moisture is an enemy of caramelization and developing a nice char. If you cook the mushrooms WITH the onions, then it’s more difficult to get a good, sweet caramelization on the onions.

While the mushrooms and onions continue to cook, you can go ahead and move them to the side of your griddle so that you have room to start cooking your prime rib.

Step 4: Cook the sliced leftover prime rib on the griddle.

Remember when I said earlier that I cut off the fattier tail of the prime rib and kept it in larger chunks. Here’s where that comes into play…

I started cooking those fattier chunks of meat first to let some of the fat start to render out. With this prime rib cheesesteak, I really took every opportunity to add flavor, and this one small extra step is no exception. When the fattier tail pieces have had a chance to cook down a bit, go ahead and add the rest of the sliced prime rib right on top of all of that fat.

chopping prime rib on a griddle

Then, use your spatula and scraper to start to chop up the steak on the griddle, just like you would do for a normal cheesesteak sandwich. I prefer to hold my griddle spatula upside down and use it to hold a few slices of steak in place on the griddle. Then, slide the scraper down the side of the spatula in a chopping motion. As you’re chopping the meat, you’ll also use the scraper to kind of pull the meat away from the spatula like this:

You can also watch the full YouTube video of me making this prime rib cheesesteak on the griddle if you’re more of a visual learner.

While your prime rib cooks, don’t forget about the mushrooms and onions on the side of your griddle. You can turn them periodically so that they cook evenly and continue to develop some nice caramelized flavor. Go ahead and season them with your favorite seasoning also. I used just a bit of the Pit Boss Chicago BBQ Rub on my mushrooms and onions to mirror the flavor of my leftover prime rib.

Then, when my meat was heated through and it had started to develop some nice brown bits, I sprinkled some of the Pit Boss Bold Burger Rub onto the shaved prime rib before combining the cooked mushrooms, onions, and prime rib together.

Step 5: Prep the bread for your cheesesteak.

After you’ve combined the meat, mushrooms, and onions, and while the cheesesteak mixture continues to cook on your griddle, go ahead and get your bread ready.

I sliced my twin french bread in half, but not all the way through like this:

Then, I used my fingers to hollow out the inside of the bread just a little. I didn’t want the bread to meat ratio to be off, and I was also trying to save myself a few carbs, to be honest.

Then, spread on some of the horseradish mayonnaise that you made earlier on both sides of the hollowed out bread and add some cheese slices:

twin french bread hollowed out with horseradish mayo and cheese

Can you taste your smoked prime rib cheesesteak yet? You’re almost there!

Step 6: Build your prime rib cheesesteak on the griddle.

Start by making a long narrow pile of steak mixture on the griddle that is about the same size as your bread. Then, lay some slices of cheese on top of the meat. Then, flip your prepared bread upside down and lay it across the meat on the griddle like this:

bread for cheesesteak steaming on top of meat on a griddle

What you’re doing here is allowing the meat, cheese, bread, and horseradish mayo to become one… and the moisture from the meat and veggie mixture is also rising to steam the bread. Trust me, this extra step will give you SO much more flavor versus just adding your cheesesteak mixture to room temperature bread.

Allow the bread to steam and all of the flavors to marry together for a few minutes. Then, slide a long spatula underneath the steak, making sure to get under any crust that has developed on the meat… That’s all flavor and you don’t want to leave it behind on your griddle.

Place your other hand on top of the bread, and carefully flip the sandwich over so that now all of the meat and cheese is on top of your bread. You should have some crispy brown bits of flavor where your meat was in contact with the griddle like this:

prime rib cheesesteak sandwich

Then we let our sandwich cool down just a bit and added some more of the horseradish mayo on top for extra flavor.

The result… absolutely fantastic! Or at least good enough to bring a grown man to tears!

Prime Rib Cheesesteak Sandwich Recipe

Want to make this cheesesteak sandwich using leftover prime rib? Feel free to print out the recipe card down below and file it away for when you want an awesome griddle sandwich:

prime rib cheesesteak sandwich

Prime Rib Cheesesteak with Horseradish Mayo Spread

Yield: 2 sandwiches
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This prime rib cheesesteak uses leftover prime rib for a flavorful and easy griddle sandwich. Whip up the easy horseradish mayo to spread on top or add your favorite cheesesteak toppings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound leftover prime rib
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
  • one twin French bread loaf (or substitute your favorite cheesesteak bread)
  • 4-5 oz smoked gouda cheese, sliced thin

For the Horseradish Mayo

  • 3 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon A1 Sweet Hickory sauce - or substitute your favorite steak sauce
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish - Use more or less horseradish to adjust spice level

Instructions

  1. Slice leftover prime rib as thinly as you can. Set to the side.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the horseradish mayo in a small bowl and mix well. Set to the side.
  3. Saute sliced mushrooms and onions in a bit of cooking oil on the preheated griddle, keeping them separated. When mushrooms and onions are about 75% cooked through, move them to the side of the griddle to continue to cook. Flip and stir the mushrooms and onions periodically while the other cheesesteak ingredients are cooking.
  4. Add the sliced prime rib to the griddle and stir it a bit as it starts to heat up. Then to chop the prime rib for cheesesteak, use your spatula and scraper to hold the pieces of meat in place and chop them into smaller pieces. As you're chopping, use the scraper to gently pull the meat away from the spatula which is holding the meat in place.
  5. When all of the meat is chopped, allow it to cook for another 1-2 minutes before adding the cooked mushrooms and onions. Mix steak, mushrooms, and onions together on the griddle.
  6. Prep the twin French bread loaf by cutting it in half lengthwise like you would for a long sub sandwich, but don't slice all the way through. Hollow out the bread just a little bit.
  7. Spread about half of the horseradish mayo on the inside of the bread, reserving the other half to use as a condiment for your finished cheesesteak. Then, add cheese slices to one side of the inside of the sandwich bread.
  8. Form the cheesesteak mixture into a long and narrow pile on the griddle, about the same length as your bread loaf. Add some cheese slices on top of the meat, spreading them out to cover the length of the meat mixture.
  9. Flip the prepared bread upside down and lay it on top of the cheesesteak meat on the griddle. The moisture from the meat will rise and steam the bread on top and melt the cheese. Allow the bread to steam and the flavors to marry for about 2 minutes. Then use your spatula to flip the meat and bread back right-side up so that now the meat and cheese is on top of your bread, just like a regular cheesesteak.
  10. Allow the sandwich to cool slightly. Add the reserved horseradish mayo to your liking. Slice into two smaller sandwiches to serve.

Notes

If your leftover prime rib is not well seasoned, you may choose to sprinkle on some of your favorite steak seasoning while the chopped meat is cooking.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 sandwich (1/2 of French bread loaf)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2727Total Fat: 166gSaturated Fat: 81gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 71gCholesterol: 533mgSodium: 5089mgCarbohydrates: 154gFiber: 11gSugar: 30gProtein: 153g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Different online calculators may calculate nutritional information differently. Also, the addition of optional ingredients and varying brands and products may change the information. For the most accurate data, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients that you use.

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