Ooooohhhhhh friends, have I got a tasty sammy to share with you! Since I received a bundle of beef from my friends over at The Neighborherds, I had more farm-fresh beef to cook up – what a lovely state to be in. 😀
Since Dave and I like a challenge we thought we’d attempt one of our favorite sandwiches at home – a Chicago Italian Beef – but smoked. Our favorite is Al’s Beef, which I tried to replicate below. You’ll notice some slightly funky spices included – cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, but trust me, they MAKE this sandwich sing. I can’t be 100% sure, but I think these spices are what give Al’s the slightly mysterious sweetness that I love. I’m going to toot my own horn and say this was pretty darn delicious, especially with the extra flavor from the smoke. Toot toot.
While a good recipe is key, so are quality ingredients, which is why I’ve been thrilled to have a nice supply of beef at the ready from The Neighborherds. All of their beef is midwest pasture-raised with no unnecessary antibiotics and no added hormones and you can absolutely taste the difference. The beef is so much more flavorful than what I’m able to get at the grocery store AND knowing that I’m supporting local farms is awesome.
I’m thrilled to be able to share a coupon code with y’all to save 15% off your first order, just use code givememeatloaf at checkout. I’m already looking at what I want next, and I think the steak bundles are calling my name. Annnnniiiieeeeeeeeeeee….
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – onto this mouth-watering sandwich first.
Cook Time: 2 hours / 30 minutes – 3 hours to chill beef
Beef + Rub
2-2.25 lb rump roast
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs ground black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
4 bouillon cubes
6 cups water
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
12 slices of provolone
hot giardiniera for topping
To cook this in a smoker, use hickory chips and get the smoker to a steady temperature of 325 degrees. I highly recommend smoking this beef, so if you don’t have a smoker, go get one! 🙂 If you are cooking this inside in the oven, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
First, make the au jus by simmering all of the au jus ingredients in a pan on the stove top. Cook through until the bouillon is dissolved, then pour the au jus into a large roasting pan (no bigger than 9 x 13), and set aside.
Mix all of the rub ingredients together from the garlic powder to the crushed red pepper. Then coat the entire roast with the mixture. Place the beef on a perforated grill pan so that you can capture the drippings.
Now to cook! Place the beef either in the smoker or in the oven with the roasting pan filled with au jus directly beneath it to capture any drippings. Cook for two hours, or until the beef reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees. This will provide a medium-rare beef, but you will finish cooking in the au jus.
Place the meat on a plate or dish and place in the refrigerator to firm for slicing. If you have a meat slicer, it needs about 30 minutes to chill, and if not you’ll need longer – about two hours.
Strain the au jus and place in a small dutch oven or pot, and chill as well.
Once the beef is chilled enough, get to slicin’! Be sure to cut the meat against the grain. If you don’t have a meat slicer, slice with a knife, and feel free to give it a rough chop as well. Many of the Italian beefs in Chicago seem slightly shredded, so I don’t think there’s a wrong way to do it.
Finally get the au jus boiling on the stove and then turn down to a simmer. Plop about 1/4 (one serving) of the beef into the au jus to finish cooking for just about a minute. This gets all those extra spices mingling with the beef as well. Yum.
Now to build the sammy, layer three pieces of provolone cheese onto the soft roll and pile the beef and spicy giardiniera on top. The Chicago way to eat this is to fully dunk it in the au jus, so feel free to rock that. I ladled a bunch onto mine so it wasn’t too soggy to pick up. But hey, go for the dunk if you want, YOLO.
I hope you guys give this recipe a go, we really loved it and it was fun to make.
Happy eating dudes!