Italian Beef Sandwich

  • Serves

    serves 6

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


Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

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