Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich

Total Time:
3 hr 40 min
20 min
3 hr 20 min

4 servings

  • 4 pounds top round with fat cap
  • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons bacon fat, or canola oil
  • 3 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 cup garlic, whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sourdough baguette rolls halved, toasted
  • 1 cup chopped giardiniera vinaigrette vegetables
  • 1 cup jarred red sweet peppers

Rub meat with dry ingredients, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Add meat to a roasting pan with bacon fat, add onions and garlic, saute for 15 minutes, deglaze with wine, and add Worcestershire sauce, beef stock and bay leaves.

Place roasting pan in the oven and cook for 3 hours, uncovered, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 135 degrees F in center. Remove, let cool, then slice very thin.

Cool broth in roasting pan and remove the fat that rises to the top. Strain.

Reheat the broth, and add the sliced meat. Place some meat on each toasted roll, ladle with some broth and top with giardiniera vegetables and red peppers.

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    I have never had a "real" Chicago sandwich but I thought this is wonderful, nice and spicy. I read all the reviews and was a bit confused about the roasting pan and covered or uncovered etc. I did mine in a dutch oven covered and my steak didn't have a fat cap. Sauteing it was a bit difficult since the meat was bigger than the pot. After I did cook it for the 15 minutes ( smelled wonderful I cut the meat in half and every half hour or so I exchanged the pieces from top to bottom to cook in the juice. I posted what I was making on Facebook and my grandson said he liked I will make it for him next week when he comes to visit..he likes spicy. I doubt kids who don't love spicy would like it though
    So full of flavor!!! And very easy to alter. I used whatever beef is on sale, top round, bottom round, chuck roast, rump roast, etc. You can also adjust the heat. I use only about half of the cayenne pepper and chili flakes and it is still loaded with flavor. Everyone loves it! For parties, I use the little hawaiian rolls to make little sandwiches. You can't go wrong with this recipe no matter how you change it. Delish!!
    Excellent!!!! This was great! I used a beef roast and cooked it for 4.5 hours at 300 degrees. It fell apart and was SO tender. I did omit the cayenne b/c I'm not a fan of spicy. The black pepper added the right amount of kick. Next time (and there will DEFINITELY be a next time I will add more beef stock b/c most of my jus evaporated with the long cooking time. I subbed banana peppers for the veggies b/c that is what I had and used soft hoagie rolls instead of sour dough.
    Spicier than any Chicago Italian beef I've had but we loved it. Our giardiniera was on the bland side so it evened out. I used a piece of beef roast that I had (not sure of the cut, but cooked it in a covered Dutch oven for 2 hours. It was fall apart tender. Loved the addition of the red peppers as well. Definitely a winner!
    Excellent recipe. It DOESN'T call for CLOVES. It calls for GARLIC CLOVES. From what little I know, Italian Beef recipes typically call for lots of garlic, which this certainly has. The roasted red pepper is a nice touch.
    When a little girl,a similar sandwich was served in school cafeterias.Then,at Home spilling out of white bread slices,we ate the near same tasting school lunch entree.This is a homage to those Memories.A bit more involved Time,yet the best results.Makes sense to place in a roll more convient to 'spillages'.Great taste.Once again,"Food Memories".As strong Now,as 40 years Ago.
    CHICAGO Italian Beef?! LOL! Please change the title of this Marin County, California version of pulled beef fusion on a bun. Personally, I will stick with Jeff Mauro's Italian beef recipes who grew up in Chicago eating Italian beef sandwiches. I may try this recipe but will call it neither Chicago or Italian. There are too many wrongs in the recipe for that moniker, eg. cloves and. I will call it Delhi Beef on a sourdough roll. Ha, ha.
    this sandwich was great! BUT, i wouldnt call it a "chicago" italian beef... more like a french dip! the sauce that is created during the roasting of the meat is great and soooo tasty! but not chicago sytle italian beef!
    Excellent beef sandwich, looking so forward to more great sandwich recipes.
    Absolutely delicious!
    This recipe so deserves 5 stars! The best! We fed it to all ages and all liked. I followed the recipe to the letter and it was not too spicey. The outside crust is spicey, but the roast is so thick that once it is all mixed together and the au jus strained.. it is not too spicy. Yes, you must strain the au jus! We used Emeril's Italian essence... The previous reviewer must have rated it before finishing the recipe! We used a chuck roast.. PS.. I've been to Portillo's in Chicago, many times...this is far superior! Thanks Guy! Do not fear this recipe! Enjoy!
    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Having grown up in Chicago and eating way too many Chicago Italian Beef Sandwiches to count, I have NEVER tasted one that is HOT and SPICY as in "burn my mouth hot and spicy". Leave out the cayenne and red pepper flakes and it would come a lot closer, although not exact.
    This is totally awesome! The guys loved it - I added some cheese to Italian bread and hit the broiler for a few minutes then piled on the meat and jus - good job Guy!
    Wonderful...sure it's a keeper!!
    C'mon, Food Network. Get it together. The printed recipe is different than the show. I went by what he did on the show, which was that his beef did NOT have a fat cap, and after he seasoned it he seared it on all sides in the bacon fat in an oval dutch oven (le crueset), he roughly chopped the garlic and added the remaining ingredients to the dutch oven after searing the beef (except for the red peppers and spicy veg). He placed the lid on the dutch oven and roasted the beef in that. I made it like how he did on the show and it turned out beautifully.
    Hi, I come from a low income family and the food pantry helps us with food we try to use what we have to make some of the recipes in food network to add variety and style to our sometimes sad menu. I am grateful really but it is usually basic stuff and I end up having to get creative to keep my family interested. I found this recipe fantastic because I was given a bag of cooked Italian beef but it had no flavors added it was just the cut meat. I had to season it but many times would fail to make it taste good. So I found this recipe and it was a winner. I used the spices I had on hand that matched the recipe the only thing i didn't have was the bacon fat so I added a few imitation bacon to give it that flavor that I thought you probably were trying to get with the bacon fat. I added a little bit of olive oil too. My family was thrilled we had ourselves the real deal, homemade Italian beef Sandwiches and they tasted authentic.
    Great base recipe... The steak is really rare after the "baking"... Braising it back in the broth is necessary. Adding some extra beef broth is also necessary... But the seasoning and cooking times are right on... Also Italian Sub Rolls are the way to go so you can "dip"....
    This are unbelievable. Absolutely delicious. Thanks for posting.
    Excellent sandwich you've got to try this one.
    Really good, loved it, good use of our new slicer
    Thanks Guy from a fellow Santa Rosan
    I make a pretty good philly cheese steak and my boys think this sandwich rates right there.
    Havng no point of reference, I thought this was the best beef sandwich I've ever had. I have found that the "heat index" is a personal thing. I happen to like hot and spicy. If you do not like spicy cut the amount in half or eliminate completely. I toasted the rolls and melted provolone on top......OH SO GOOD!
    I am not from Chicago so I have no reference point, but if you want a great beef sandwich this is it. The cooking time is long, but in the end it is worth it! Definitely recommend. :)
    This is not bad but way to complicated and not Chicago BEEF. I got this recipe from one of the original owners of a famous Chicago restaurant, he told me if I tell anyone he'll have to kill me. Typical Chicago comment unfortunately he is no longer alive.

    Use top round (I use sirloin roast) good fat cap - 4 to 6 lbs
    Cut in half to fit roasting pan place fat on bottom
    Use water or beef broth to top of meet
    Garlic Powder (cover top of meet then a little more)
    Oregono (cover top of meet then cover again)
    Some salt and pepper
    Cover - bake for 2 to 3 hrs @ 350
    Take out of oven and cool with 1 qt. ice water (pour in pan over meet)
    Remove meat, slice w/ slicer (thin)
    Place in the juice/broth and simmer for 1/2-1 hr or more
    Serve on Italian bread (dip bread in juice, "juicey beef") Roasted bell peppers & Gardiner (hot or mild) optional.

    If you can't get back to Chicago (Portillos, Lou Malenatis, Unos or neighborhood favorite) this will substitute till you can. I've been in Georgia for 30+ years and this is cheaper than shipping it down.
    I've had Chicago Italian Beef once and loved it. I love this recipe, however I feel it calls for way too much pepper of all kinds. I was not able to use the juice after I strained it because it was way too spicey hot. You can alway add heat but you can't remove it. I made 2 cups of beef both and added a 1/2 cup of the original juice. I will make this again, it was easy and I used a meat thermometer to determie doneness.You need to watch it because it cooks up real quick. I've been cooking for a long time and let me say you you can cut all the herbs by half. You need enough rub for a 5 pound roast not a 25 pound turkey.
    cut down on the salt to about half and this is the best chicago beef i have ever eaten!
    guy this was good,but it aint chi-town
    although this roast beef is somewhat tasty, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with chicago! i made it, and it was a disappointment. i'll stick w/ my old recipe.

    old man portillo would gag.
    GUY..GUY..GUY...Love ya bro. But ya killing me with this sandwich as a "Chicago Italian Beef". Please remove the words Chicago and Italian. Maybe just "Beef Sandwich" A "Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich", has very simple and delicious ingredients. I am originally from Chicago and a Sicilian too. Worked at many Chicago Italian beef joints and this is not even close. Anyway...maybe next time you visit Chi-town you can experience the sandwich again.... :-)

    ps: Johnny's Beef in Elmwood Park and Arlington Heights is another Chicago landmark for a great Italian Beef Sandwich. On a hot summer day finish the sandwich with their awesom Italian Ice!
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