This is Amy + Michelle

This is Amy + Michelle

This A.M.

Amy and Michelle became instant friends because of the common interests they share in their love of fashion, food, music and traveling. In This A.M. Amy and Michelle will share recipes, thoughts on eats, their unique fashion style and lifestyles from Toronto to Tampa...... 1,098 miles apart!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hot Italian

This A.M. I have a recipe to share that would make Al Capone proud. If you haven't been to Chicago or seen a food network special featuring Chicago, you probably have never heard of a Hot Italian Beef Sandwich.



Here is a brief history: Invented in the 1930's in Chicago (it has been said Al Capone, who lived from 1899-1947, ate the sandwich) and still served today, it has shredded or sliced beef that has been simmering in it's own juices and spices, basically 'dipped' in the juices, served on an Italian hoagie roll with choice of peppers, giardiniera and depending on the place mozzarella or provolone cheese. 
The sandwich is very moist and some places give you the option of having your sandwich 'double dipped' which is when they take the entire sandwich and dip it in the beef juices. The name has 'Hot' because it has a bit of a spicy kick and 'Italian'  because of Italian spices the beef is cooked in. As for where it is served, you will not find this sandwich in Italy or in many places outside of Illinois. I discovered the sandwich during a visit to Chitown, when we went to Portillio's for lunch, where I ordered the Hot Italian Beef and fell in love. Shortly after my trip I watched a Man vs Food episode featuring Al's, where the sandwich was (arguably) invented and knew that I had to try to make the savory beef sandwich at home.


The recipe below is my Hot Italian Beef Sandwich, which I have been tinkering with the last couple years, finally satisfied with what I call my perfect version. If you don't have time to roast the beef and shred it yourself, read the second recipe for a delicious alternative crock pot recipe that is great for parties.

Steve, Hoover and Conchi had my Hot Italian Beef Sandwiches last night and when we were done we couldn't get Hoover away from the juices, which he was drinking like soup. Does that mean Hoover was double dipped?  Then Steve made the comment, "A hot Italian sandwich, made by a hot Italian!" Try out one of the recipes and let me know what you think!







Hot Italian Beef Sandwiches

6 lbs beef (I have had the best luck with two 3 lb bottom roasts)
kosher salt, pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 finely chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
3 bay leaf
1 package Good Seasonings dressing mix

5 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup red wine
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
7 cups beef stock

Toppings:
Provolone cheese

Roasted red peppers
Giardiniera

Italian hoagie rolls

Preheat oven to 300.

On your stove top, in a large dutch oven, on medium high, heat oil. Salt and pepper beef then, brown the beef on all sides until caramelized, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the beef and caramelize the onion. Add in garlic spices, except thyme and saute for about 3 minutes. Deglaze pot with wine then add beef stock and thyme. Bring to a boil, put beef back in and roast in the oven for 3 hours uncovered, turning the beef about every 30 minutes. After 3 hours, cover, raise the heat to 375 and roast for 1 more hour. Remove the beef and allow to cool. Pour contents of the dutch oven into a crock pot through a fine sieve, pushing down with a spatula to get all the juices out. When the beef is cool enough to handle, thinly slice or shred the beef, removing any fat along the way. Put shredded beef into the juices in the crock pot. Keep crock pot on low until you are ready to serve. Use tongs to place the dripping meat into your Italian rolls, having a ladle handy to serve up extra juices!

Makes enough beef for about 8 sandwiches.








Crock Pot Hot Italian Beef 

5 lbs deli roast beef, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 finely chopped yellow onion
5 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup red wine
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
3 bay leaf
fresh cracked pepper
1 package Good Seasonings dressing mix
6 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied with butchers twine for easy removal
7 cups beef stock

Toppings:
Provolone cheese
Roasted red peppers
Giardiniera

Italian hoagie rolls

In a crock pot place roast beef, separating the slices. In a saute pan on medium high, heat oil. Caramelize the onion. Add in garlic and saute for about 3 minutes. Deglaze pot with wine then pour contents of the pan into the crock pot over the roast beef through a fine sieve, pushing down with a spatula to get all the juices out. Add spices and beef stock and cook in crock pot on low heat for 3-4 hours, remove thyme and bay leaf, lower heat to 'buffet' or 'keep warm' until ready to serve. Use tongs to place the dripping meat into your Italian rolls, having a ladle handy to serve up extra juices!

Makes enough beef for about 8 sandwiches.


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