Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tailgate Tuesday: Italian Beef Sandwiches

(note: Tailgate Tuesday posts are special features written for the SideLion Report from us gals of The Thrifty Table. Check in every Tuesday for a new recipe perfect for that week's tailgate party!)
When it comes to Chicago food, Italian Beef sandwiches are a favorite. In honor of the Lions playing the Chicago Bears this week, we decided to make this Chicago staple. These sandwiches remind me of when my RA staff at Calvin College had Italian Beef sandwiches from Portillo's. Amazing!

I found several recipes online using a slow cooker and chuck roast to replicate these juicy sandwiches. A little bit of planning ahead in the morning results in an easy meal at dinner (or tailgate!). Served on toasted hoagie buns with melted provolone cheese and sauteed green peppers, these sandwiches are a perfect fit for some hungry football fans.

Italian Beef Sandwiches
1 3 lb. chuck roast
3 C water
2 t beef base
1 t ground black pepper
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried basil
1 t dried parsley
1/2 t crushed red pepper
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 green pepper
sliced provolone cheese
hoagie buns

In the morning, trim the fat off the meat and place in a slow cooker. Combine the other ingredients (except the green pepper and cheese) in a liquid measuring cup and microwave until warm. Add to the roast and cook on low for 10 hours. After 8 hours, remove the bay leaf and shred the beef and place it back in the liquid and let cook for another 2 hours.

Cut the peppers into small strips and cook in a pan with some olive oil. Heat over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, until they are soft and begin to brown. Set aside.

When the meat is done, serve on toasted hoagie buns with a lot of extra juice and the green peppers. If you really want to make them tasty, place them under the broiler with provolone or pepper jack cheese!

*Adapted from http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/italian_beef.html Check it out for some history behind the Italian Beef Sandwich! The slow cooker version is adapted from http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/slow-cooker-italian-beef-for-sandwiches/Detail.aspx

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