"Chi-town" style Italian beef for slackers.

September 19th 2015

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Fall is drifting in as Summer exits stage left, and it's a stunning change for sure. If you are hoping for a post about pumpkin spice flavored things, or to see a picture of a set of hands and canvas aproned torso, forming savory scones, you have made the wrong turn at Albuquerque (Bugs Bunny reference, in cause you are a reader under the age of 30) and find the 10's of 1000's of other posts available with that. Here you are getting a lazy man, burley, beef sandwich recipe in the spirit of the season change! Nearly a decade has passed since I visited my buddy Dan in Chicago in the Fall. He went to culinary school there and works in a high end restaurant downtown. While visiting he took us around to all the local food meccas. One such place was Al's Beef. This place is an institution, Al's was the first place I had Giardiniera, which is spicy pickled stuff chopped up (great stuff). They will dip them if you like in the broth from the meat and if you don't mind a little sogginess it's the full flavor way to go. Normally the meat is roasted for hours sliced thin on a slicer and basically a pretty time consuming process....well I didn't have that kind of time on my hands but was hankering for something similar and if you can't have the real deal, have this one in 20 minutes or under.
Dipping broth:
1 minced, shallot.
1 tsp. Tomato paste.
1/2 C. dry red wine, I used Chianti.
1.5 C. good quality beef stock.
In a small sauce pan combine shallot, wine, and tomato paste. Reduce by half and add stock, simmer on low.
For Sandwich:
1 LB. thinly sliced Italian style Roast beef
4 slices provolone cheese
4 Crusty rolls of choice....I used some that I think were actually for sausages but they worked well they were crusted with cornmeal and was good, but get your favorite.
1/4 C. Giardiniera, you can buy this already made, I used a bunch of different pickles (carrot, celery, cauliflower, peppers) and gave it a whirl in the food processor and added a bit of fresh parsley.
In your simmering broth add beef slices, heat for a minute or two, split sandwich rolls, you can toast these, which is what I prefer. Divide beef, cheese, some broth, and a bit of giardiniera, on to each roll, serve with more broth as needed.
If you're ever in Chicago you should put a stop at Al's on your list....but until then...make my slacker version and let me know what you think!