Italian beef

Italian beef sandwiches

Italian beef
Italian beef sandwich

If you’re looking for an authentic Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich, this probably isn’t it (you might want to check out this article for some tips). But if you’re looking for a very tasty Chicago-inspired Italian beef sandwich, this is definitely it.

The combination of beef, swiss cheese, onions, au jus, and giardiniera is savory, delicious, and flavorful. We smoked an eye of round roast on the grill, but you could also buy thinly sliced roast beef from the deli as an easy option. I also highly recommend purchasing a Chicago-style giardiniera (such as Marconi), instead of the Italian style (which won’t have the right flavor). Another tasty option is to cook sliced bell peppers and mushrooms along with the onions to make a sort of Philly-style sandwich.

Italian beef sandwiches
Makes 6 sandwiches
By Jane and Michael’s Gourmet Extravaganza

  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup au jus concentrate
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 par-baked ciabattini rolls (I like Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 1/2 lbs of thinly sliced medium-rare roast beef
  • 6 slices of swiss cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chicago-style hot giardiniera (I like Marconi brand)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thinly slice the yellow onion into rings and place in a shallow baking dish (an 8×8-inch pan would work well). Drizzle onions with olive oil. Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until onions are slightly softened. Combine the au jus concentrate and water to make 1 1/2 cups au jus and pour over the onions. Return to the oven and bake until the au jus begins to boil, about 10 additional minutes.

Place the foccacia rolls in the oven alongside the pan of onions and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown. Remove the rolls and onion/au jus mixture from the oven, and place the sliced meat into the au jus for 1-2 minutes to warm it.

Slice the rolls in half, leaving the top and bottom attached along one side. Top the bottom of each roll with 1/4 lb of thinly sliced beef and 1 slice of swiss cheese. Broil for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese just begins to melt.

For each sandwich, place onions on top of the cheese (use tongs to grab the onions out of the au jus) and mayo and giardiniera on the top half of the bun. Spoon au jus into small bowls and serve with the sandwiches for dipping. Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from

Pairs well with:
Potato chips

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