The Original New York Chopped Cheese Sandwich

No, it’s not a Philly cheesesteak and no, it’s not a hamburger. It’s the chopped cheese sandwich. From what I’ve found, it originated in Harlem, NY. Specifically, Hajji’s Deli. I’ve never been there but… I love trying new food. And more than likely, you’ve got all of the ingredients for this sandwich. So… Let’s get started.

  • 2.5 lbs. of ground beef (90/10 works well)
  • 4 hoagie rolls/baguettes/sub rolls. Whichever works
  • American cheese (get a quality one from your deli, not the stuff that’s individually wrapped)
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Tomato slices
  • Mayonaise
  • Ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Brown The Beef

Take your ground beef and brown it. I prefer using a cast iron skillet because I like my beef with an extra crisp and crunch to it. Keep it moving and do not let it burn. Season with your favorite spices. I used a low sodium seasoning blend and lots of pepper.

Step 2: Toast And Prepare The Buns

Grab your roll, veggies, and condiments. I buttered the rolls and then toasted them in another pan. This softens up the roll and gives the inside a nice crunch. Next, I added mayo, ketchup, and some sciracha mayo as well. What can I say…I like spice! I also shredded the lettuce and sliced the tomatoes.

Step 3: Assemble The Sandwich

At this point, your ground beef should be cooked all the way through and have a crumbly texture. It’s at this point that you can portion it on your skillet, pan, or flattop griddle. Place a couple of slices of the American cheese and let it melt through. Once it’s melted, use your longest spatula to transfer it onto your prepared buns. It’s at this time that you can feast with your eyes at this New York classic.

Step 4: Serve With Your Favorite Side And Enjoy!

I served our with some tater tots. It’s not a Philly cheesesteak and it’s not a hamburger. The meat has a nice crust to it because it’s chopped. Every morsel of ground beef is properly seasoned and cooked to perfection. I can guarantee you this will not be the last time you make this sandwich. Buen provecho!

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