Philadelphia CheeseSteak Ice Cream

“That’s possibly the worst idea I’ve ever heard.”

Michelle didn’t use these words lightly. She didn’t say this when I’d suggested we fly across the country to a park staffed by 108 dwarfs, or we hand-feed live animals to hungry tigers, or we train to become professional taxidermists.

But evidently Michelle has her limits, too.

She draws a line at Philadelphia Cheesesteak Ice Cream.

We were about to watch Rambocky X, the legendary double-feature pairing of Rocky VI and Rambo IV. (You know: “When a 60-something fighter comes out of retirement for one last bout, who knows how it’s going to end?!! Well tonight, It Ends Twice!!! That’s right: Rocky & Rambo each wage a sexagenarian battle that could be a fight to the DEATH!!!”)

To accompany this back-to-muscled-back 191 minutes of awesomeness, I’d made avocado ice cream, mango sorbet, and Thai rice ice cream. But those flavors only represented Rambo IV, Thailand and Burma. They left nothing for poor Rocky VI, Philadelphia’s favorite pug.

So I had to fix the situation. And the remedy seemed to be CheeseSteak Ice Cream.

“Why don’t you just make Rocky Road?” Michelle demanded.

“Because that’s not Philly. Philly is cheesesteaks! We need something Rocky would eat.”

I Googled, but Google insisted there was no such thing. There were no recipes, or precedents. This was uncharted territory. I was an explorer. I was a fighter. I felt like Rambocky himself!

{Cue training montage}

I sliced up blood-red chunks of tenderloin.

Sautee’d them in a splash of olive oil, then cooked them in a pool of Karo.

Shredded two-tone cheddar, and a few tablespoons of cream.

Minced candied & cooled tenderloin.

“This is going to be a disaster,” Michelle warned before she went to bed. Okay, she didn’t actually say those words, but I could feel them. Had she voiced her thought, she would have added, “A disaster of historic proportions.”

I nodded, furiously mixing and stirring. There was no way this was going wrong. It was too important.

And it went right. Oh how right it went.

Nuggets of sharp cheddar cheese mixed with crunches of sweet beef, all settled in a gorgeous Philly-style ice cream base. I took a bite, and gasped. “Spectacular,” I announced, even though Michelle had long since fallen asleep. I took another bite. “AMAZING!” She still didn’t wake up. Oh, well.

Granted, it was weird. But it was also something like the greatest weird taste sensation of all time. It was Americana. It was Sweet Jeez! It was glorious.

Except for a cheesesteak itself, I don’t think there could be anything better than this.

So here’s the recipe….

Andy Deemer’s Original Philadelphia Cheesesteak Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart

The Cheesesteak:
60g beef tenderloin
1t olive oil
3T light Karo syrup

Slice the tenderloin real nice and thin. Heat the oil over medium heat, and cook until lightly browned. Add the Karo syrup, and cook until well done. Allow to cool. Mince it up.

The Cheese:
100g sharp cheddar
2T cream

Shred the cheddar big, then melt with the cream in a pan over medium heat. Allow to cool to a firmish malleable glop.

The Ice Cream:
2c milk
1-1/4c cream
2/3c sugar
1T light corn syrup
4t corn starch
3T cream cheese
salt

I modified Jeni Bauer’s amazing ice cream base, a true Philly-style base from an incredible book of ice cream recipes.

Mix 1-3/4 cups of milk, 1-1/4 cups of cream, 2/3 cup sugar and 1T light corn syrup in a big pot. Bring to a boil, and let bubble away for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix 2T milk and 4t corn starch in a small bowl, and whisk into the hot milk mixture. Heat up again, and boil for another minute.

Mix 3T cream cheese and 1/8t salt in a big heat-resistant bowl.

Slowly pour hot milk mix into the cream cheese, whisking away. Cover and cool in the fridge.

When cool, pour milk mix into an ice cream machine and whir away. Chuck in the candied beef bits at intervals. When it’s expanded, and about 3/4 done, start adding the small nuggets of cheesiness. Don’t do this all at once, but at regular intervals.

And there you have it! Kapow it’s awesome!!!

Would have tried throwing in fried nuggets of Amoroso roll, and Cheese Whiz instead of Cheddar, but I’m in China, buddy! Give me a break!

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31 Responses to Philadelphia CheeseSteak Ice Cream

  1. I came. I ate. I conquered. Mr. Dean Pickles is a culinary mad scientist. This really tastes like Philly cheesesteak in sweet ice cream form. I discovered I am down with steak in the ice cream, but cheddar and sugar trigger a disturbing dissonance on my t-buds .

    • Dean Pickles says:

      I know — I think it was the lack of Cheese Whiz. Next person to go to Philly is bringing me back a CostCo sized tin of the crap. Then we’re gonna get wild, BSB!

  2. Subconsciously it was wrong but it tasted surprisingly ok. The cheesy bit was yum, I’m just not sure how I feel about meat in icecream. I’d eat it again, but only if we get to watch better movies.
    P.S. The avocado icecream was a winner!!!

    • Dean Pickles says:

      Only thing better than meat ice cream is cheesy meat ice cream. (And better than Rambo VI? I’m assuming you’re kidding here… although I was thinking the avocado ice cream would have gone swell with Troll 2!)

  3. So, at first my mind was mentally not even noticing that in all the invites it was Philly CheeseSTEAK and not Philly Creamcheese or Philly Cheesecake (that is how my mind was auto-correcting each time) until I saw this blog post and was like “why is there RAW MEAT involved?”

    ..and then my mind was blown. and I couldn’t wait for my taste buds to catch up to my mental state.

    and even with all that build up it delivered. it was surprisingly good. you are never expecting meat flavors when about to eat ice cream, but once you are tasting it, somehow it works. such an unexpected delight the natural next step was to start brainstorming all the following savory/meat ice cream ideas to develop next.

    -nachos?
    -gong bao ji ding?
    -carolina bbq?
    -chuar?

    can’t wait till the next installment of Ice Cream So Wrong it is Right.

    • CHUAN’R! Do chuan’r!!!!!!!!

      • Dean Pickles says:

        Charlene, you are the mad genius! Yes — I’m with Sof and Aaron. First Chocolate Chuan’r, which I actually almost made the other night. Then the Gongbao Jiding Ice Cream, which not only sounds like the perfect sweet combo, but rhymes somewhat as well. I’m on board! All of these are perfect ideas….

  4. Aaron says:

    I cant believe it worked out!!! I love the idea of gong bao ji ding next. Now that could be worth flying back for!

    • Dean Pickles says:

      I’ll book your tickets, bro! Enough of this QiGong nonsense — we need to start “Dean Pickles and Dr Deemer’s Crazy Flav Ice Cream Brothel.”

  5. shookie says:

    If I didn’t know that what I was eating was made up of meat, oil, sugar, cream, cheese and syrup I would have thought it was chocolate chip. Now that I know it certainly explains why my stomach is as big as Rambocky’s biceps. Though I think Mr Pickles has come across a secret formula that ice-cream companies are going to be banging down the door wanting to profit from. Put a patent on this quick!

  6. Paul Jung says:

    Seems like the best weekend in Beijing while I was away.

    • Dean Pickles says:

      So sorry you missed out! There’s still a tub of it in the freezer, though, so when we get back to Beijing (if you’re still here), you’re gonna get some!

  7. But have you told Jeni about it yet? We have a Jeni’s in Nashville now, and I am definitely sticking to the salty caramel. You have been in China too long, cousin. This just sounds like ex-pat yearning gone wrong…

    • Dean Pickles says:

      You know, I tried to, but I couldn’t find a way to contact her!!! Let her know, by goodness! LET HER KNOW!!!!

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  9. Herb Frye says:

    You are a genius. I always wanted onion ice cream with chunks of onion. What can you do?

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  11. Fearless Tam says:

    Love this idea! Challenged by a friend who said that bacon in ice cream doesn’t work because it gets chewy when cold, we made a “cream sauce” ice cream with Parmesan, roasted garlic, rosemary and crispy finely diced Pancetta. The trick was to double-saute the Pancetta (once before chopping and once after) to approximate the texture of finely chopped nuts.

    We actually scooped it onto baked chicken hot out of the oven and it made a great sauce.

    P.S. You can drop the sugar in Jeni’s recipe to 1/2 cup and still keep that lovely texture.

    • Andy Deemer says:

      OMG, are you serious?? That sounds insane!!! And great, too. In Estonia this weekend, I came across a very bizarre (but wonderful) serving of Chicken Liver ice cream, served as a starter at some French molecular spot. Absolutely luscious, but should have been a petite boule instead of a fist-sized round. Gorgeousness turned to repulsive fairly quickly. ;P

  12. Fearless Tam says:

    We also make an ice cream version of one of our favorite summertime treats – grilled peaches glazed with balsamic syrup topped with crumbled bleu cheese.

    Biggest flop so far – Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ice Cream. Apparently real Chefs know that pineapple contains an enzyme that tenderizes meat. I, however, am not a real Chef. The enzyme worked its magic on the dairy proteins and turned the base bitter – like burnt Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Hubs said it tasted just like his Mother’s.

    • Andy Deemer says:

      Oh, WOW. Pineapple Upside Down Cake does sound absolutely AMAZING!!! Sorry to hear it didn’t turn out so well. :*( but the peaches / balsamic / blue cheese also sounds remarkable! would love to try these!!

      • Fearless Tam says:

        Andy – check your gmail. I’d be more than happy to share recipes for anything you’d like to try.

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  16. JoeD says:

    I might have to give this a try, but I definitely will make modifications. Instead of the Karo syrup, I’d use a brown sugar rub on the tenderloin and bake it in the oven. Also, how can you have a Philly Cheesesteak without onions?!?! Caramalize some onions, chop them up, and add those in too.

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