Food - Drink
The Best Cut Of Steak For An Italian Beef Sandwich
If you just finished watching FX's "The Bear," the show's alluring images of sizzling beef and colorful picked vegetables might have you yearning to try one of Chicago's signature Italian beef sandwiches. This classic sandwich usually consists of sliced roast beef, spicy pickled veggies called giardiniera, and au jus sauce.
Some of the best beef sandwiches in Chicago can be found at restaurants like All Too Well, Al's Italian Beef, The Original Nana's Hot Dogs, and Portillo's, but Time Out Chicago claims that Johnnie's Beef serves up the "platonic ideal of an Italian beef sandwich." Johnnie's, as well as most other joints, use this one cut of beef in their sandwiches.
Since its invention by Italian immigrants in the early 20th century, the classic cut of beef for an Italian beef sandwich has been the chuck roast. This section of meat usually comes from the cow's forequarters, and tends to be tougher with more sinew and bone than meat and fat, but when cooked right, chuck can be amazing.
To work around the toughness, early pioneers of Chicago's famous sandwich slow-cooked the meat in its own juices, which resulted in a tender, shredded, delicate cut of beef. While top sirloin, top round, or bottom round can also be used, a true Chicago-style Italian beef has to be made with properly slow-cooked chuck roast.