A Great Sandwich

August 30, 2011

We’ve been watching a new show on the Food Network.  I know I’ve mentioned before that we watch some of their programs.  It’s been more or less been by default lately.  There aren’t a lot of family friendly shows out there that will entertain all of us, and let’s face their programing lately has left a lot to be desired.

We’ve watched the Next Food Network Star for a number of seasons, but we haven’t liked the winners, until now.  The show we started watching is the Sandwich King.  Now, granted there have only been 2 episodes, but it isn’t bad.  It isn’t great, but the concept is something I can get behind.  Remember my Panini press?  Plus, the guy is from Chicago.

The first episode was about Italian Beef sandwiches.  It’s a sandwich that is much loved in these parts and is cause for as much debate as pizza.  What I love about this sandwich is that, although it’s not as great as getting a beef sandwich from your favorite beef stand, it does come in a very close second.  If I had a commercial grade meat slicer tucked away somewhere, I would probably reevaluate my opinion.  Really it’s that good, plus the smells coming out of the kitchen are intense.

I’ve made Italian beef in the crock pot before, but I loved the braising of the meat.  It gave it a great crisp, plus the flavor of the jus was out of this world.

Oh, and did I mention that Meeshie loved the sandwich?  She’s on a kick lately that involves dissecting any sandwich she eats.  She has a plan, insides first and then maybe she’ll eat the bun.  I don’t like it, but I tolerate it.  This sandwich, though, was eaten in its entirety, and as presented.  I was more than happy.

Oh, and I would have made the Giardiniera, but I had a vat of it from one of our trips to Costco.  Next time.  We like it hot and sweet with cheese.  You can add cheese to the sandwich, such as provolone or mozzarella.

Italian Beef with Sweet Peppers

  • 1-3 1/2 lb Boneless Beef  Chuck Roast
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground Pepper, to taste
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 medium Onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 T dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 t Crushed Red Pepper
  • 6 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C dry red Wine
  • 2-14 oz cans of Beef Broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Sweet Peppers:
  • 4 Green Bell Peppers, seeded and cut into strips
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1 t Granulated Garlic
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground Pepper, to taste
  • 4 soft, hinged sub or hoagie rolls, 4 inches

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and position a rack in the middle position.

Liberally sprinkle the entire roast with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the roast on all sides until golden and caramelized; reduce the heat if the fat begins to smoke. Transfer the roast to a plate and reduce the heat to medium. Add in onions and saute, stirring occasionally until just beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper and saute until fragrant. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Deglaze  with the red wine and cook until the alcohol smell is diminished, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the beef broth and thyme, bring to a simmer. Adjust the seasoning of the jus. Place the roast back into the pot, with any accumulated juices, cover and place in the oven. Cook the roast, turning every 30 minutes, until very tender, 2 to 4 hours.

Transfer the roast to a cutting board and tent with foil. Strain the jus through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and return back to the pot. If you feel there isn’t enough jus, add another can of beef broth and adjust the seasoning.  Bring to a simmer and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Once cooled a bit, pull the meat into smaller chunks and reserve for the sandwiches.

For the sweet peppers: Toss the pepper strips with the oil, granulated garlic and salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring halfway through, until lighter in color and soft, about 20-30 minutes.

Simmer the jus until very flavorful and hot. Place some beef on a roll, then some sweet peppers and then some Homemade Hot Giardiniera. Take the whole sandwich and quickly dunk in hot jus.

Here’s the link to the original.


  1. I think I had one of these in Chicago. It was so good!!

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