Meat Molar Mystery: Homestyle Italian Beef

Italian Beef, homestyle
Italian Beef, homestyle

Looking back, we at FirstAndMonday have already waxed poetic about the Italian Beef sandwich, yet today we’ll give you a bit more on this Chicago beef delicacy. It’s fresh bread, simmered beef in the most flavorful juices, and a topper of whatever your heart desires. Cheese, sure. Peppers or giardiniera, damn straight. Dripping, dipped or dry, you will love it. It’s one of the Second City’s authentic treats.

Yet you do not need to venture to the Chi, potentially risking your life or a parking meter fee of $45, to eat this delicious sammich of the most elite sort. That’s right, you can make your own version at home, praying you live near civilization and can get some of these ingredients. This recipe is true to form, and the creation of paisan mamas with more vowels in their names than towns in the “Old Country” from which their ancestors came. It’s also quick, easy, and capable of satiating the most intense meat molar.

So read up, enjoy and “Salute” from FirstAndMonday.


Crock pot or slow cooker
slotted spoon


3 lbs or more of beef roast (we’ve used a litany – round, sirloin, Boston, etc…)
32 oz jar of “old world” giardiniera (it’s essentially whole vegetables, Cento has a “Fancy” that’s pretty widely available)
8 oz jar of giardiniera relish
Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, pepper, red pepper flakes, etc…)
Italian dressing packet — AND — dried oregano, basil
16 oz beef stock (preferably unsalted)
garlic, crushed
olive oil
black pepper
Kosher or sea salt
garlic powder


Trim the roasts of any huge fat chunks. We want flavor, but no gelatinous blobs.

Oil the crock pot.

beef2Add the roast, bottom side up, then rub some crushed garlic to the bottom. Season liberally with the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.

Flip it, repeat.

Pour the  32 oz giardiniera in.

Spoon 1/2 the giardiniera relish over the roast, add about a tablespoon of the garlic.

Add the Italian seasonings, or packets

Cook on high for 2 hours, adding more of giardiniera relish or seasoning if you see fit. The roast should have a nice coat of spices and marinated veggies.

Reduced heat to Low, add beef stock as necessary to fill crock pot roughly halfway up the roast.

beef1Cook 6 more hours on low. You can also expedite the cooking by just going 5 hours on high, however we prefer slow and low.

Prior to serving , use slotted spoon to break up the roast into the juices.

Serve over cut baguette, French or Sub Rolls, or even a hearty bun if in a pinch. Depending on desire to get messy, ladle juices over the bread and meat.

Top with either giardiniera product, sport or hot peppers, cheese (Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, or any Italian blend – cheddar also an option), or add a cooked Italian sausage to make a combo.