Chicago-Style Italian Beef Sandwiches

Skip the airfare and slow-cook your way right at home to this Windy City original.

  • Serves

    makes 4 sandwiches

  • Cook

    1 hour


By Erin Scottberg

Updated on August 26, 2022

When Chicago native Erin Scottberg was searching for an at-home version of this beef sandwich, a high-school ­classmate responded to her plea with a photo of a stained index card titled “Italian Beef—Aunt Tammy.” Our adaptation of the family recipe calls for sirloin, thinly sliced in advance by your butcher, then quickly poached in an aromatic broth.


  • 2 Tbsp. rendered beef fat (or olive oil)
  • 14 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • 2 0.7-oz. packets Italian salad-dressing mix
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp. chile flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2-3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 4 Italian- or French-style rolls (about 6 in. long)
  • 2 lb. boneless sirloin steak, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 cups hot giardiniera relish, drained


Step 1

In a medium pot, over medium heat, cook the beef fat (or olive oil) until it shimmers, then add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent and softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds more, then add the beef stock, Italian salad-­dressing mix, basil, black pepper, chile flakes, oregano, and parsley. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until reduced by a third, 30-40 minutes. Season to taste with the ­Worcestershire sauce, if using, and maintain a low simmer.

Step 2

Meanwhile, split the rolls in half lengthwise, leaving one side intact, and place on a large rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

Step 3

Pull the steak slices apart and divide into 4 equal batches. Working with 1 batch at a time, use tongs to dunk the meat into the juice, swirling gently to quickly poach the meat, 1-2 minutes, before nestling the batch inside one of the split rolls. Repeat with the other 3 steak batches and rolls. To serve “wet,” ladle a generous amount of juice over the beef. To serve “dipped,” use tongs to quickly dunk the entire sandwich into the juice. To make a sandwich “hot,” top the beef with giardiniera to taste.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.