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Well hello there everyone!
Didn’t expect an “in season” Sunday Gravy post now did you?
One of the promises I made to myself was that if I cooked anything tasty during football season that could be converted into a “Game Day” meal then I would share that fucker.
I cooked just that very fucker indeed.
This thing is stupid easy, adaptable and goddamn delicious. And it’s just fucking perfect for game day food.
It’s the Chicago style Italian beef sandwich!
There are over 174 MILLION results from a Google Search for “Italian Beef Recipe.” No shit.
And damn near every one of them are bullshit. Most of these sad recipes involve slow cooking slabs of beef with Italian seasoning, some beef stock (which today’s recipe will use as well) along with
/ takes deep breath
FUCK NO! That’s wrong!
It would probably still be pretty tasty but every self respecting Chicagoan KNOWS that you don’t use goddamn pepperoncinis. You use goddamn giardiniera! Get that shit right dammit. It’s fucking crucial.
I’ve had real live Italian Beef sandwiches in Chicago and I can speak with experience.
Giardiniera (pronounced “Jar-den-air” by Chicagoans) is a condiment made by pickling fresh vegetables in oil or vinegar. It’s got everything from hot cherry peppers, some sweet peppers, celery, carrot, cauliflower, garlic, just all kinds of shit.
Here you go.
It’s that jarred shit in the middle.
If you were using just pepperoncinis you would get some heat, yes, but the vinegar would be the only other flavor note offered. It would miss all of the other flavors that come from the rest of the veggies in giardiniera. Giardiniera comes in mild and hot. You’ll want the hot for this baby.
You can find giardiniera at your grocery store – really – in the pickle aisle. Just look on the top shelves where the more unusual items are located.
Let’s make a goddamn sandwich!
Italian Beef Sandwich – Chicago Style!
Chuck roast. 3-5 pounds.
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
1 packet of Italian seasoning mix
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1 cup of giardiniera
Fresh rosemary about a tablespoon if you’ve got it otherwise continue on
Lots of salt and pepper
Some sandwich rolls
Provolone cheese – highly optional since the Chicago purists would shit themselves over this addition.
Before getting started I slow roasted this baby in a 325 degree oven for three hours. I’ll give you some variations for slow cooker as well as for the Instant Pot but truth be told, the best depth of flavor comes from the oven method.
Preheat your oven to 325.
Procure yourself a slab of cow.
You regular readers know of my affinity for chuck roast. It’s got the perfect amount of fattiness that lends to a tender outcome.
Take out your trusty Dutch oven and heat it on medium to medium-high on the stove top. Add in the oil and heat it up a bit. Next add in the roast and let’s give ‘er a sear.
Season both sides fairly liberally with salt and pepper. Cook for about 4-5 minutes per side.
Remove the roast from the pot and add the beef stock to the pot. Stir and scrape the bits of browned goodness off of the bottom of the pot.
Next get the seared cow flesh right back in the pot and season again with the Italian Seasoning mix.
If you look at this photo again…
you will notice I used some plain ass generic shit for the seasoning mix.
Then add in the giardiniera over everything.
Cover with the lid and into the 325 degree oven it goes for three fucking hours.
Go back and watch some more football while this cooks and just ignore the voices in your head telling you to peek at the roast or to baste it.
Leave that bastard alone.
Slow Cooker variation – Follow the above recipe then cook in your slow cooker on low for 10 hours or on high for 5 hours.
Instant Pot variation – follow the above recipe then pressure cook high for 50 minutes and allow a slow pressure release for 15 minutes.
When the meat has been cooked allow to cool for a bit and this gives you time to fuck around with the bread.
I grabbed a package of sandwich rolls at the grocery store for this – easy remember?
Slice the bread in half but not quite all the way through. This sandwich is a messy fucker and you want to keep your shirt as clean as possible. Now, canoe out some of the bread from the middle to allow additional meat stuffage. Try not to fuck with the integrity of the bread by taking out too much bread.
Turn your oven up to “broil” then add the provolone – if using – to the bread and toast the rolls in the oven for just a minute or so until the bread gets toasty and the cheese get melty.
Now start to pile some of the cooked meat chunks right on top of this baby. Be sure to get some of the giardiniera on there as well. Shit you can use extra giardiniera that hasn’t been cooked if you like. Now ladle some of the cooking juices or “jus” on top. Hell, pour yourself a bowl full of jus and dip this thing like a French dip. Customize!
Let’s get a look.
Oh shit yes.
Yes, I did break the bread in half a bit, that’s on me.
Let’s get an even closer look.
Fucking hell yes.
This beauty is messy, beefy, spicy, salty, briny and it’s just flat out fucking delicious. I didn’t even bother making a side dish I just had a second sandwich. Hell serve with chips or fries if you like. Fuck it, maybe get some potato or macaroni salad if you have to have a side.
Serve with copious amounts of beer.
Perfect game day food. Easy as piss to make, tasty as fuck to consume and it won’t even interrupt your game viewing that much.
Thanks again for reading folks! If I stumble across any additional tastiness I will be sure to let you know.
Now back to you regular NFL programming.