Chicago-Style Italian Slow-Cooked Beef Sandwich
Chicago Italian Slow-Cooked Beef Sandwich
I learned about the Italian Beef Sandwich from world pizza champion Tony Gemignani while writing his cookbook The Pizza Bible. In fact, it’s his seasoning mix in the recipe below. Italian Beef Sandwiches are a Chicago institution! They are wet dripping sandwiches so have plenty napkins on hand. It can be made quickly and easily in a slow cooker. It’s a perfect party dish, always getting rave reviews.
I like to season the meat the day before, but if you don’t have the time, you can season the meat and proceed to cook it.
2 tablespoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon onion powder
3 1/2 to 4 pounds beef cross rib roast, chuck roast or rump roast
6 large garlic cloves, cut into slivers
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 slices
6 large (6-inch) Italian sandwich rolls, unsliced
1 cup hot or mild giardiniera, or to taste
For the spice mix
Combine all the ingredients.
For the beef
Cut the roast into 4 equal pieces. Cut slits into all sides of the meat and insert a sliver of garlic into each slit.
Rub the beef with the oil and rub the seasoning mixture on all sides of the meat. Put the meat on a tray, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Combine the stock, tomato paste, and vinegar in the cooking vessel of the slow cooker.
Put the meat in and top the meat with the slices of butter.
Set the cooker to low cooking for 8 hours. Check the meat, it should be very tender and shred with a fork but the time could vary depending on the cut used. If it is not completely tender, continue to cook for another 1-2 hours.
Remove the meat and shred it with 2 meat forks. Return it to the broth unless you are ready to continue making the sandwiches.
If you have cooked the meat ahead, it can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Any fat will congeal at the top and can be lifted off before reheating if desired.
For the sandwiches
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Cut off the ends of the rolls so that they can absorb the broth and cut the rolls stopping just short of cutting them through. Gently open the rolls and toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes to dry them slightly.
Meanwhile, reheat the meat and broth if necessary. Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, remove the meat and keep warm. Pour the broth into a wide skillet and bring to a simmer.
Working quickly dip the cut side of the roll into the simmering broth letting the bread absorb the broth. Lay cut side up on a cutting board. Spoon giardiniera on the bottom of each roll and top with a generous portion (about 1 cup) of beef. Close the sandwiches and cut in half. If the center of the bun looks dry the ends can be dipped in broth again.
- 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 3 1/2 to 4 pounds beef cross rib roast, chuck roast or rump roast
- 6 large garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 large (6-inch) Italian sandwich rolls
- 1 cup hot or mild giardiniera