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Fang Food: Chicago Cubs edition

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Every so often, the city the Diamondbacks play in has so many different choices that it's hard for me to decide which dish to choose. Chicago is one of those cities.

Brian Kersey

There are just so many different ways I could go with this city. It's just known for so much. I could do pizza. I could do another hotdog. The list goes on. In the end, I decided on what might be my favorite type of sandwhich: the Italian beef sandwhich.

The Scouting Report

Normally, I'd give you some history of Italian beef sandwiches, interesting anecdotes, or something along those lines. Instead, though, I'm going to give you some information on the individual ingredients.

When I first looked over this recipe years ago, the big question for me was, "What the heck is... um... how do you say that?" referring to giardiniera. To be honest, I still don't know how to pronounce it, but now at least I know what it is. Giardiniera is a mix of pickled vegetables, usually including both hot and sweet peppers, cauliflower, celery, and some carrots. It's got a really cool vinegary, spicy flavor that goes really well with the flavors of Italian beef.

That's not the only ingredient that leads to questions. Another simply is, what's up with the beef? The recipe calls for leftover roast beef, and that's by far the best way to go. My favorite recipe is behind a paywall, so I can't link to it, but there are literally millions of different recipes out there, and I recommend using one of them. Another option, though not as good, is to just buy some roast beef from a grocery store deli. The options there range from good to... less good, so be careful with that.

If you go the deli route, however, you won't have any au jus (a light beef gravy), so you'll need a recipe for that. My go to recipe for that is here. It's a really simple recipe, and basically, if you can boil water, you can make that recipe.

The Recipe

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Makes four

Ingredients:

4 sub rolls, split open lengthwise
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 C thinly sliced leftover roast beef
1 1/2 C au jus (see note)
1 (16-ounce) bottle giardiniera drained, 1 Tbsp brine reserved
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler. Brush interior of rolls with oil and arrange, oiled-side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden brown, about 1 minute.
  2. Combine beef, au jus, and giardiniera brine in large skillet and simmer over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse giardiniera, mayonnaise, and red pepper flakes in food processor until finely chopped.
  3. Arrange beef on toasted rolls, drizzle with jus, and top with giardiniera mixture. Enjoy!

By consuming them, we absorb their strengths. It's just like cannibalism. Only with a lower chance of contracting a horrible brain disease. ~ Jim McLennan Join Blake, (imstillhungry95) and Patrick (Turambar) as we explore the food and drink of our opponents throughout the season. Find us on Facebook, email us at fangfood@gmail.com, or check out our past articles!!