Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Italian Beef Sandwich, Chicago Style

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppWhen moving to Oregon in the mid-1960s after growing up in Chicago, I especially missed: Vienna hot dogs, Chicago style pizza, but mostly, Italian beef sandwiches.

The closest I came to finding something similar to the Italian beef style was a French Dip with au jus, until an Italian mom and pop opened an Italian restaurant in the early 80s.  I'd then get my craving satisfied.


After it closed in the 90s, I tried inventing my own version, but never nailed it.  For awhile, I discovered an online source to order the beef frozen, direct from Chicago.  It was spendy, but worth it.  


 With the explosion of foodie sites on the Internet in recent years, I've come across several different "adequate"recipes for Italian Beef, but not quite offering the taste or texture I was looking for, until I tried some crock pot methods and finally settled on this method and combination of flavors.
Italian Beef, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Ready to Shred

This recipe makes enough Italian beef mixture for about 16 hoagie sandwiches on 6-inch long rolls. Extra beef with juice can be frozen for future meals.  

This recipe can be easily cut in half.  I watch for beef sales (around $2 a pound) and cut beef at home into 1 pound chunks to make this for the two of us and get 6 servings. 


Shtredded, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Shredded
Italian Beef Sandwiches, Chicago Style
3 pounds of boneless beef: rump roast, chuck, London Broil, top round 
1 16 oz. jar of peperoncinis, sliced
2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic
2 or 3 tsps. Italian dry seasoning mix,  or envelope of dry Italian dressing
14 oz. can of beef broth.
Hoagie type rolls, or buns of choice
Mayonnaise, Provolone cheese slices or cheese of choice
Sauteed sliced green pepper and onions strips


Italian Bread, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Done and Ready to Freeze Leftovers
Cut beef into 3 or 4 chunks. Put beef in crock pot and pour entire jar of peperoncini's including juice on top. If peperoncinis are bought whole, slice or chop into rings, discarding stems. Add minced garlic, seasonings and broth. Cook on low for about 8-10 hours. 

Meanwhile saute green pepper slices and onions and set aside or add to beef mixture after it shredded.


When done, remove beef and shred, then return to pot, keeping warm.  When ready to serve, drain meat  mixture, reserving the juice. 


Assemble sandwiches, by first lightly toasting rolls, then spreading on mayonnaise. Add beef mixture, then layer of green peppers and onion, and top with cheese.  Serve with side cup of juice for dipping, like a French dip. When sandwiches are assembled, you can put in a microwave to melt cheese for about 15 seconds, or under the broiler.

Serves 16 allowing 3 to 4 oz. of mixture for each sandwich.
Estimated cost: $10 or less for beef mixture and ingredients, plus rolls; .55 cents a serving plus bun or roll.