Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich

Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich

Shredded Italian Beef Sandwiches

Should serve 6-8.

Although hulu series, "The Bear" has made this sandwich ever-so-popular, it's been on our radar for years. Our marketing manager is from the Chicago area and knows a good Italian sandwich. Although a traditional Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich is thinly sliced, this slow cooked, shredded Italian Beef Sandwich is a true show stopper. 

The key to this recipe is simplicity. A great piece of grass-fed chuck roast with some simple spices, garlic and butter, 8 hours later you have some melt in your mouth Italian Beef. (Don't forget the napkins!)


  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pound grass-fed beef chuck roast
  • 6-8 large garlic cloves, cut into slivers
  • 2 tablespoons non-gmo vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 4 cups beef stock or beef bone broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 slices
  • 6 large Italian sandwich rolls (about 6 inches, unsliced)
  • 1 cup hot or mild giardiniera, or to taste (We suggest mixing the two for a great medium spice)


  • Combine all the dry spices to create a spice mix. Put to the side.
  • Cut the chuck roast into 4 equal pieces that can easily fit into your slow cooker.
  • Cut slits for your garlic slices on all side of the meat. Insert a small sliver of garlic in each cut. 
  • Rub the beef with oil and then rub your new seasoning mix on all sides of the meat.
  • Wrap with the roast with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight on a plate or tray. (If you are short on time, you can also cook right away. The longer it marinates in the seasoning, the better.)
  • The next morning, combine the bone broth (or stock), tomato paste and vinegar in your slow cooker.
  • Put the meat in and top with the slices of butter.
  • Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 8 hours.
  • When you are close to 8 hours, check the meat. It should be very tender and be able to shred with a fork. If it is not completely tender, continue to cook for another 1-2 hours. (Timing varies based on cut, size and temperature.)
  • Remove the meat and shred it with 2 forks. Return it to the broth unless you are ready to continue making the sandwiches. (I like keeping it in the broth until right before you search to get all the juicy flavors on every part of the meat.)

Build your sandwich

  • Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  • Slice your rolls about 3/4 the way through and slice the ends off each side (this helps your rolls absorb the broth)
  • Toast the rolls in the oven for 4-5 minutes, opened, to dry them slightly. 
  • Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, remove the meat and keep warm.
  • Dip the inside of your bread into the warm broth letting the bread absorb the broth. (If the slow cooker isn't pretty warm then pour the broth into a wide skillet and bring to a low simmer to dip.)
  • Lay cut side up on a plate. Put a generous portion of beef on each roll. Top with a nice amount of giardiniera. 
  • Enjoy with a lot of napkins :)


Recipe adapted from Susie Heller.