Growing up in the Suburbs of Chicago, I have spent countless minutes of my life eating Italian Beef Sandwiches. The sandwich was originally invented on the South Side, and has become a popular sandwich anywhere in the Chicago Land Area. Whether your hungry, hungover, or looking for a hearty meal to eat during a sports game, the Chicago Beef Sandwich is for you. The sandwich consists of italian beef on a high gluten french bread slice, topped with green bell pepper slices and giardiniera. Most people order their sandwich dipped in au ju sauce (gravy) to get the bread soaked in flavor. If you want to make it a “Cheesy Beef” you have the choice of adding mozzarella or provolone cheese. If you ask for “The Combo” you can get a grilled italian sausage nestled in the sandwich along with the original lineup.
Chicago-Style Giardiniera is commonly made “hot or mild.” It consists of assorted pickled vegetables including bell peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower, serrano peppers and gherkins, and sometimes crushed red pepper flakes. The vegetables are marinated in vegetable oil, olive oil, soybean oil, or a combination of the three. The hot version adds sport peppers.