Chicago-style Italian Beef Sandwich

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Do you like your Italian Beef dipped? With hot, or sweet, peppers? Readers Tom B. and L.W. Reed wrote us separately in search of a good Chicago Italian Beef sandwich recipe. We found one in “Chicago Cooks,” a compilation of 25 years of Chicago recipes from Les Dames d’Escoffier Chicago, published by Surrey Books, and edited by Chicago Tribune food editor, Carol Mighton Haddix.   Recipes are clear and easy to use, and you get some good Chicago food history along with them.

Makes 8 sandwiches


  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small sirloin tip roast, about 2 1/2 lbs
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 8 Italian rolls, warmed, split
  • Pickled hot sport peppers, or giardiniera
  • Sauteed sweet bell peppers, sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Combine seasonings: rub 1/2 of the mixture over the meat, including some under the fat layer.
  2. Put meat into a shallow pan just large enough to hold it.
  3. Roast for 15 minutes; reduce temperature to 350F and continue to cook 20 minutes longer.
  4. Remove from oven; pour cold water and remaining seasoning mixture into pan. Return to oven, cook until the meat registers 135F–about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan; cool 20 minutes (temperature will continue to rise, reaching 145F for medium-rare.)
  6. Meanwhile, degrease pan juices and transfer to saucepan; cook over medium heat until heated through–about 3 minutes.
  7. Slice meat paper-thin. For each sandwich, dip meat slices briefly into juice; layer meat and juices into warmed, split roll. Serve immediately, topped with peppers.

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