Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment. Set aside.
Start your onions first. They will take longer than the steak. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat until it glistens, add the onions. Add a hit of salt to speed up the sweating process, and keep stirring every now and again, but not constantly. You can lower to a medium low setting if they are starting to cook too quickly. Slower is better with onions, so don't rush the process. Once the moisture is out hit them with the butter and continue cooking until they caramelize. The process should take about 15 minutes on a nice medium heat, or up to 25/30 on a lower heat. Transfer to a plate and set aside till needed.
Slice the meat as thinly as you can. It's helpful to have the meat cold during the cutting process if you're not adept with your knife skills. So you can pop it in the freezer for 15 or 20 minutes before cutting it if you like. Then let it warm up for 20 or 30 minutes before cooking. Meat cooks better if it's not super cold. Trust me.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until it glistens. Add the beef and cook while stirring it about occasionally. You can cook it to your taste. I'd recommend 3 to 5 for a medium rare, and 5 to 8 minutes for well done, which is how we like ours.
Add some salt and pepper, and any other spices you might like to jazz it up.
Butter your hoagie buns and toast them slightly on the inside by placing them on a hot skillet. Only takes about 2 minutes. Now place them cut side up on the cookie sheet.
Toss about a quarter of your cheese on the bottom, then add your meat and spread it evenly on each bun. Top with caramelized onions. Then toss the rest of your cheese over top.
Place in the oven and cook just till the cheese melts. This only takes about 5 to 8 minutes depending on your oven and how brown you want your cheese. You can go as much as 10 minutes if you like crispy bits.
Remove from the oven and drizzle barbecue sauce over top.
Close those bad boys up and let the good times roll. You'll need some napkins, I guarantee it.
Enjoy with a big old steak and cheesy smile!
If you're a good multi-tasker you can knock this recipe out in about 30 minutes. I start my steak while the onions are cooking so everything just comes together at the same time.