This is a Chicago favourite. The Italian Beef is a hearty sandwich consisting of thin pieces of beef cooked and served in a beef broth or au jus ( pronounced OH-ZHEW not AW-ZHEW) topped with cooked sweet peppers and Giardiniera (an Italian vegetable pickle/condiment) The bread is usually a crusty roll/bun and the bread is hearty enough that you can dip it in the broth and it will stay together. It is a big messy carnivore sandwich. Big Pete loves the Italian Beef and he will happily eat this anytime!
You will need:
- 2 lb sirloin roast- cut in half
- 1 onion-chopped
- 1 carrot-chopped
- 1 celery stalk-chopped
- 1 piece fresh rosemary
- few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 cloves garlic- chopped
- 1 small tomato chopped (or half a regular)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning spices
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 cup of beef stock (possibly a bit more)
- 1 red pepper- sliced
- 1 yellow pepper-sliced
- 1/2 onion -sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- olive oil
Prepare your giardinere first thing or even a few days in advance. You will need a few hours at least for it to be prepared. The longer it sits the better so if you can do this the day or two before it will be best.
Step 1: start by slicing your roast in half and patting dry. In a very hot pan with a bit of oil I brown the slices until I have seared both sides.
Step 2: chop all your aromatic vegetables and herbs that you will use to flavour the meat while it cooks in the oven.
Step 3: add your vegetables, fresh herbs, garlic, tomato, tomato paste and Italian seasonings. Cook for a few minutes.
Step 4: add the wine and cook for a few more minutes to cook off some of the alcohol. Add your beef stock to almost cover meat and make sure your herbs are immersed in the liquid so they do not scorch in the oven. Bake on 325 degrees F for 1 hour.
Step 5: flip meat and cook a further 1 -2 hours until meat is falling apart tender. The liquid will reduce and concentrate in the cooking. This jus or thin gravy will be your sauce once done. If it starts to evaporate too much you can add a bit more broth or you can put a lid on the pan.
remove meat to cool so you can tear apart or slice thinly. (whichever you prefer- I do some of both!)
Step 6: strain vegetables from the liquid. Discard the vegetables and set aside the broth.
Step 7: slice or pull your slightly cooled meat.
Step 8: in a small pan you want to fry the sliced onions in some olive oil, salt and pepper. Once they have cooked for a few minutes and are just starting to brown add garlic and peppers. Cook until softened. Prepare all your components for the sandwich. Use a crusty loaf of bread which you can slice or crusty buns. You want something that will be able to handle being dipped in the broth.
Step 9: heat up your sliced/pulled meat in some of the broth.
Step 10: heat up your broth and start to make your sandwiches.
Dip the bread in the jus. Add the meat, top with cooked peppers and giardiniera.
Do it all over again because you can’t eat just one!