Italian Beef Sandwich

See the Recipe

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.

Italian Beef Sandwich
This spicy hot roast beef sandwich, a Chicago classic, is drenched in a garlicky gravy that permeates the crusty roll.
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.
  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.
  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.