Italian Beef Sandwich
This spicy hot roast beef sandwich, a Chicago classic, is drenched in a garlicky gravy that permeates the crusty roll. This recipe first appeared in our April 2011 special Sandwich Issue with Jane and Michael Stern's article The Ritual of Italian Beef.
1½ tbsp. crushed red chile flakes
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
3 pickled jalapenos, stemmed and thinly sliced
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 2½-1b. beef sirloin tip roast, trimmed
6 6″ crusty Italian rolls, split
3 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, thickly sliced, and boiled until soft
Stir together half the chile flakes, and the vinegar, jalapeños, celery, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Cover pepper relish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 425°. Combine remaining chile flakes, plus the basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Place roast in a roasting pan, rub with half the spice mixture, and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° and roast for another 20 minutes. Combine remaining spice mixture with 4 cups water and add to roasting pan; continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 135°, 20–30 minutes. Transfer roast to a cutting board and let cool for 15 minutes. Skim fat from broth, and keep broth warm in a large saucepan.
Thinly slice beef and return to broth until hot. Fill each roll with some of the beef, broth, and green peppers, and top with pepper relish.