Dose Chicagoans sure know their way around an Italian beef, so we thought we’d do dese upright with a Chicago Style Italian Beef sammich made the dan way. Now if we know one thing, it’s Chicagoans have got their opinions, especially when it comes to their food. Sure, there can be a “right” way to do something but half the fun of cooking is experimenting and doing twists on things to keep the creative juices flowing. While this recipe attempts to stay close to how it’s done in Chicago, there may be some variations here and there.
The Italian Beef Sandwich originated in Chicago sometime in the 1930s and has since grown to become a culinary staple of the city. The origins lie somewhere with Chicago’s Italian immigrants who used to work in the stockyards in the early 1900s. When these workers would bring home tough meat from the factories that couldn’t be sold, they’d roast them in spices, slice it thinly, and served it on rolls to improve the taste. Slowly, they began serving it at weddings and banquets to be able to feed large groups, and that’s where it blew up in popularity.
It’s hard to point to one specific point in time or person who introduced the Italian beef, but most people would point to Pasquale Scala and his crew. The Scala family is credited with getting the “wedding beef” ball rolling around 1925 with their Scala’s Original Beef and Sausage Company. From there it diffused into street corner stands, and restaurants. While many think of ground beef or steak when a beef sandwich is mentioned, a classic Italian beef consists of thinly shaved roast beef, sweet peppers, giardiniera, and gravy on a bread roll. There are variations like no sweet peppers, and additional melted cheddar but they’re all ordered dry or wet. Some testify that it’s not a true Italian beef if it’s not dripping with beef juice.
Now it’s your turn to see why the Italian Beef is such a classic dish to Chicagoans everywhere. Yum Yum Get Ya Sum!