One night in the late 1960s, Eugene Gagliardi was lying awake in bed trying to figure out how to save his company. He was thinking about the Philly cheesesteak.
Gagliardi was trying to figure out a way to turn the Philly cheesesteak into something people would want to make at home. But the meat used for the sandwich was, as Gagliardi says, “so tough you couldn’t chew through it.”
At 3 in the morning, he had an idea. He got up out of bed and went to the plant and tried it.
His idea was complicated — he put the meat through the grinder a bunch of times, then he mixed it, put it in a mold, froze it, then he tempered it, then sliced it — and, finally, he cooked it and ate it to see if it was any good.