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Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich


That's right... drink it in. This was a juicy, delicious version of an Italian Beef Sandwich that I saw one day on "Guy's Big Bite". Guy Fieri is one of my favorite food network stars by far and I'm so glad that he won "The Next Food Network Star" a couple years ago. He not only makes some really good looking food on his show, but he seems like a fun guy. Anyone with a laugh like that is cool in my book.

I don’t think a weekend goes by when I don’t watch the Food Network. Usually on Saturday mornings, Mark and I will wake up and if I get to the remote first, I’ll turn on the Food Network and we’ll lay there and watch at least one show. Of course, that’s about the time when we get a coffee jones and we get hungry for breakfast and get up. But after that, I usually keep the Food Network going all day on the kitchen TV while I cook and clean.

So when I saw this sandwich on Guy Fieri's "Poker Night" episode, I knew immediately that I had to try it. I changed it up a bit and topped it with peppers and onions rather than the chopped giardiniera vinaigrette vegetables and jarred red sweet peppers the recipe calls for. I also added a bit of cheese at the end because well, I love cheese damn it.

I'm actually going to make these again this coming weekend for my Dad for part of his Father's Day dinner. Here's how they're made:

Start by mixing together the dry rub for the meat. It's a combination of Italian seasoning, salt, black and cayenne pepper, paprika, and red chili flakes.

Next, rub it all over the meat. This time I used flank steak because I had some in the freezer. I think this weekend we're going to try a top round roast. However, if you have flank steak on hand, I can tell you that it works great.

After heating some olive oil in a braising pan, sear the meat on both sides so it has a nice dark color all around. I then removed the meat from the pan, added the garlic cloves and onions and sauteed them for a few minutes to get some color on them. Next, I deglazed the pan with wine, added the Worcestershire sauce, beef stock and bay leaves.

I added the meat back to the pan and covered it with the onions and garlic, then put it in a 275 degree oven for 2 hours. The time in the oven all depends on how big the meat is and how thick. Basically, you want to keep it in the oven until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees.

When I took the meat out of the oven, it looked great. I let the meat rest on the cutting board for about 10 minutes before I cut into it.

While the meat was resting, I sauteed up some bell peppers and onions in olive oil with a little salt and pepper.

Next, using a bowl and a collinder, and strained the remaining juices from the pan.

I went back to the cutting board and thinly sliced the meat. You can just see how tender it was.

Finally, I added all the sliced meat to the bowl of au jus and tossed it until completely combined. The au jus gave the beef an unbelievable flavor and made it SO juicy.

Then just toast a couple of sausage rolls, pile in the meat, top with peppers and onions and some mozzarella cheese if you prefer. Pop it back into the oven or toaster oven for a minute to melt the cheese and they're done!

This is a delicious sandwich and really not that heavy because there's only a small amount of cheese on it. Also, you can make it as big or as small as you like. Serve a salad on the side and you're all set!

Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich
Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri, 2008
Show: Guy's Big Bite
Episode: Poker Night


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.


  1. I have lived in Chicago for many years and have eaten Italian Beef sandwiches in most of the top spots. I have never seen cheese on their sandwiches. Are you sure you aren't making Philly Cheesesteaks?

  2. The cheese was my addition; it was not part of the recipe. We're big fans of cheese in this house and enjoyed the sandwich this way very much.

  3. It might be a good sandwich, but it's not an Italian beef sandwich.


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