Monday, March 7, 2016

Chicago Style Italian Beef

I loved living in Chicago for many reasons. I loved Sunday mornings when I'd hop on the train and head into the city to visit a friend for coffee (I had the fortune of having not one, but two Gonzaga pals move to Chicago the year after I did. Visiting with them was such a perfect slice of familiarity and comfort), window shop, try a new cafe, visit a museum (often free for teachers), or walk from one end of Michigan Ave to the other (well, at least to where the Ghiradelli chocolate shop was). One of the best parts of the city is, no doubt, the food. I will never forget my first night in Chicago when I was settling into my new room and I decided to order a pizza for dinner. I knew I wasn't in Kansas (or Sandy, Utah) anymore. The one medium pizza weighed more than a kettleball and was ooey gooey, cheesy, and one slice was plenty to keep you satisfied. There was also this great little Italian deli just around the corner from where I lived. I am sad to say I didn't truly appreciate it till almost the end of my time there, but they had fresh baked breads, homemade pastas, and the most delicious warm chicken parmesean sandwiches you could imagine. 

However, one one of my most favorite Chicago foods was the Italian Beef Sandwich. At first it sounded sort of strange and I think I panicked the first time I was asked if I wanted the sandwich I ordered "wet" or "dry" (fyi, I pick wet....the delicious beef broth spooned over the warm bread). Italian Beefs became one of my most favorite meals and while Portillo's might not have had the best ones in the city, they were close by and stopping there after school became something I did often. So...what is Italian beef? Basically it's a very tender juicy chuck roast cooked low and slow with Italian seasonings, some tang from pickled veggies, and sweetness from banana peppers. It's served usually with provolone cheese on crusty bread that can soak up the juices. It's wonderful and something I'd never tried before I lived in Chitown. This recipe  from Iowa Girl Eats is our favorite. This one from one of my fave Food Network chefs looks pretty delish too. Try it sometime. You won't regret it. And visit The Windy City, too if you get the chance. And maybe bring elastic waist pants. 

No comments:

Post a Comment