Kate's Cheap Tricks


Chicago Style Italian Beef Sandwiches

Okay, so this recipe isn’t as quick and easy as some of the others… but… when I’m craving this “dish from home,” I’ll do anything to get it. And… although it’s not exactly the same ad my dad’s… he is definitely the inspiration!


The Meat

·         3 lb Beef (top sirloin butt, top round, or bottom round) Roast (with lots of marbling)  — Frozen.


The Rub (Note: Dad doesn't do this part)

·         2 tsp garlic powder

·         1 tsp onion powder

·         1 tsp dried oregano

·         1 tsp dried basil

·         1 tsp fresh ground pepper

·         ˝ tsp crushed red pepper


The Juice

·         2 quarts of water (more water to taste if the juice gets too salty)

·         4 beef bouillon cubes

·         ˝ tsp garlic powder (more if you love garlic)

·         ˝ tsp onion powder

·         1 Tblsp dried oregano

·         1 tsp dried basil

·         ˝ tsp ground black pepper

·         ˝ tsp dried red pepper flakes

·         ˝ tsp Italian seasoning

·         1 bay leaf

·         2 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce

·         1 large or 2 small green bell pepper cut into strips

·         1 (bottled) roasted red pepper, cut into strips


The Bread

·         A dense, crusty bread roll is required. French bread is too soft and will instantly fall apart when the juices get absorbed. If you live in the Chicagoland area… Gonella brand bread is the only way to go!


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees

  2. Rub the seasoning onto the (frozen) roast. The recipe probably works if the roast isn’t frozen, but I can vouch for how rare the center will be… and you do want it RARE! (Note: My dad doesn’t put any seasoning on the meat when he makes this dish… it still tastes fabulous.)

  3. Place the seasoned roast into a roasting pan (or a bread baking pan is fine too)

  4. As soon as you can… put a meat thermometer into the beef. Cook until the center reaches a temperature of 125.

  5. While the beef is cooking… or any time before serving, put all the ingredients for “The Juice” into a saucepan. Simmer until the peppers are really limp. You can actually make this at any time… but the house will smell wonderful if you cook the beef while making the juice.

  6. Remove the beef from the oven. Tent with foil for 30 minutes, then put it in the refrigerator overnight. This last part is most important because you want the beef to stop cooking (keeping the center nice and rare), AND… it’s easier to get thin slices when the roast is cold.

  7. Add the meat drippings to The Juice. This step isn’t critical.

  8. Slice the bread and toast.

  9. Slice the beef as thin as possible. I recommend using an electric knife or getting your butcher to do it for you. However… don’t buy your beef from one store and then ask another to slice it. That’s just bad form!


Serving: Heat up the juice, drop in the beef slices to warm them a bit. Put the sliced meat and some of the (by this time… really limp) peppers onto the bread. Ladle some of the juice onto the whole thing and enjoy. Tip: Put some of the juice into individual bowls so everyone can dip at their own rate.


This recipe makes (about) 5 or 6 sandwiches.