Authentic Italian Beef Sandwiches
These Authentic Italian Beef Sandwiches are my take on the iconic Chicago favorite. Tender slices of roast beef are dipped in herbed au jus, piled on a soft hoagie roll, and topped with pickled vegetables. They’re perfect for game day, weekend dinners, or anytime you’re craving a taste of Chicago.
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I like to serve these sandwiches with Glazed Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings, Creamy Broccoli Salad, Restaurant Quality French Fries, and Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert.
Inspiration For This Recipe
Like millions of others, I have been binge-watching ‘The Bear’on Hulu. It’s such a great show, but the best part is watching them crank out the most delicious-looking Italian Beef Sandwiches. My mouth waters every time!
The show made me nostalgic for past trips to the Windy City to sample the sandwiches from Portillo’s and Al’s. I honestly loved them both! They were both flavorful, tender, and really messy!
So after watching the show, I did a little research and incorporated a few tweaks to make it perfect for my family. I hope you and yours will find it perfect as well!
First, I like to cook the roast with carrots, onions, celery, and pepperoncini to give both the meat and the jus incredible flavor. Then I serve the jus on the side instead of dipping the whole bun into the jus. It’s less messy and each bite gets dipped in the hot jus, so less of the jus runs down my arm and more of it gets into my mouth!
History Of The Italian Beef Sandwich
The Italian beef sandwich originated in Chicago in the 1930s as a workingman’s lunch. Italian immigrants would bring home tough cuts of meat that the stockyards couldn’t sell and they would braise it low and slow in stock, herbs, and spices then slice it thinly for sandwiches.
Because it used a cheap cut of meat, the sandwich became a staple at weddings and large family gatherings where people could feed a lot of people for minimal money. It also quickly became known as a perfect ‘hangover’ food as it was great to soak up the booze from a night of drinking
- Garlic, onions, carrots, celery – the aromatics help make the jus extra flavorful!
- Olive oil and vegetable oil
- Italian seasoning, dried oregano, dried basil, black pepper, sweet paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, onion powder, Kosher salt, and granulated garlic – this looks like a lot of seasonings, but it’s well worth it for the flavor!
- Beef chuck or rump roast
- Beef stock
- Jarred pepperoncini and jarred Giardiniera – I used DeLallo’s brand for both.
- Good quality Italian hoagie buns – get the ones that are crusty on the outside with a tender interior to soak up all of the jus!
Steps To Make This Recipe
- Sear the beef on all sides in a Dutch oven.
- Make the wet rub by processing all of the rub ingredients in a food processor. Massage the rub onto all sides of the roast.
- Place the roast back into the Dutch oven and pour the beef stock around the meat.
- Nestle in the onions, celery, carrots, and pepperoncini.
- Slow roast the meat until tender.
- Slice the meat into thin slices.
- Scoop out the cook vegetables from the Dutch oven and discard.
- Dip the hoagie roll into the just and pile on the sliced beef.
- Top the meat with the Giardiniera and enjoy!
Authentic Italian Beef Sandwiches
For the wet rub:
- 1 head garlic, peeled
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
For the roast:
- 5 pounds beef chuck or rump roast
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
- 2 carrots, cut into large chunks
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup pepperoncini
- 2 cups beef stock
To assemble the sandwiches:
- 8 hoagie rolls
- 1 quart Giardiniera, hot or mild
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
- Make the wet rub.
- Puree the garlic, olive oil, Italian seasonings, oregano, basil, black pepper, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, onion powder, granulated garlic, and sea salt in a food processor until a paste is formed. Set aside.
- Prep and cook the roast.
- In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, drizzle the vegetable oil in the bottom and heat until shimmering.
- Add the beef roast and sear on all sides until a nice, brown crust has formed. Use tongs to remove the beef to a cutting board.
- Rub the wet rub on all sides of the beef roast and return to the Dutch oven, along with any accumulated juices.
- Pour the beef stock into the pot and nestle the onions, celery, carrots, and pepperoncini around the roast. Bake in the preheated oven for about 6-8 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.
- Remove the roast to a large cutting board and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the cooked vegetables and discard them.
- Place the Dutch oven on the stovetop and bring the jus to a slow simmer.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the roast as thinly as possible.
- Return the sliced beef to the simmering jus.
- To assemble the sandwiches:
- Slice the hoagie rolls lengthwise. Use tongs to dip the cut side of each hoagie roll into the jus.
- Pile on the sliced beef and top with the Giardiniera.
- Alternatively, you can skip ‘dipping’ the hoagie rolls into the jus and serve the jus on the side for dipping.