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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Homemade Italian beef (Chicago Style :)

I was brought a meal one time by a local friend of mine after a medical thing I was recovering from, and it was good old Chicago Style Italian Beef.  It was glorious and I thought only moms with a dozen kids living on a farm in the NWburbs could possibly know the secrets of making it.  I thought it must have been so second nature to her that she had enough for her brood and mine as well, being the supermom she is.  Well, over the past 3 years we have ordered our free range cow from our darling local cowman and I too have mastered the art of Chicago Style Italian beef.  Come to find out it isn't a secret after all, just smart and easy cooking by those who care to try it.  I will save you the trouble of figuring it out and share the recipe in the spirit of true Southern hospitality (since I am not originally from here, hehe :)........Here it is:

INGREDIENTS for Italian Beef:
(psssssst...just so you know, I always make 2 because I want leftovers)
1 Beef pot roast
 (Arm roast, round roast, bottom roast, etc.  I choose by size not name, it is the one that is round or triangular, not flat and uniform in size like a chuck roast.  Chuck roast are too fatty.)
6-cups of Beef broth
Garlic Salt & Onion Powder to season roast
1 Tbsp. Minced garlic

INGREDIENTS for Garnish:
1 sliced onion
2 sliced carrots
2 sliced jalapenos
1 sliced green pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
(all sauteed in olive oil for 7 minutes)

How to prepare the roast:
Season your roast with onion powder and garlic salt.  Pour beef broth into roasting pan.  Add roast and cook covered at 400 degrees for 1.5 - 2 hours.  Remove pan from oven and let cool.  When cool enough for the fridge, put in the fridge to rest for 2 or more hours.  At dinner time, I place the roast to a carving board.  Pour your juices into a saucepan straining out the fat (there shouldn't be much :)  Slice the meat as thin as you possibly can.  I use an electric knife.  Put aside in a bowl.  After you have brought your beef juices to a boil add your beef slices to warm them.  Scoop them out onto a bun (recipe follows) drizzle the Au jus onto your bread and top with garnish as desired.  Wondering what to serve with about another sandwich???  Just kidding, sort of, we serve raw veggies and home fries.

How to make the rolls?  Well you could go to your local grocery store, but why stop wow-ing your dinner guests, I say!  Here is my recipe for the rolls:

1-1/4 cups warm water
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 tsp. salt
6 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, milk, butter and sugar in a large bowl.  (I use my Kitchen Aide.)
Mix in the salt and slowly add the flour 2 cups at a time, being careful not to over mix the dough.
Sprinkle flour on top of your ball of dough to help you divide it into 12 equal pieces. 
Using floured hands pull of the pieces and roll into your hands into a hot dog bun sized piece. 
Once you have shaped your dough on your greased cookie sheet or seasoned baking stone, cover with a clean and damp dish towel for 25 minutes to rise.  Then, bake at an 375 degree oven for 15-20, or until your rolls are golden brown.  Remove them from the oven, let cool and cut down the middle.  Now you are are ready to make a totally homemade Italian Beef Sang'wich that any Chicagoan could be proud of!

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