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Braised Italian Beef Sandwiches
Nathan Congleton/TODAY
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(4 rated)
Cook time:
Prep time:

Even though this recipe takes some time to make, all the love and effort you put into it is well worth it. Plus, the braised meat is very versatile, so you can use any leftovers to serve over steamed rice, polenta, potatoes or pasta.

Technique tip: After cooking, you can combine the beef and jus in a crockpot to hold it through the whole game and it would taste more like a traditional sloppy Chicago Italian beef sandwich.

Swap option: You can make this into a panini too. The night before, assemble the sandwiches and individual wrap in foil. Then bring your panini press to the game, press and serve with jus. Also, you can use more traditional red/green bell peppers instead of the pepperoncini peppers.


  • Chuck Roast

    • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
    • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion or onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried garlic flakes or garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
    • One 3-pound beef chuck roast
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Braise

    • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
    • 1 large yellow onion, cut into thin strips (about 3 cups)
    • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
    • 2 cups dry red wine
    • 4 cups beef broth
    • 1 cup pepperoncini peppers and 1/2 cup of the liquid
    • 4 dried bay leaves
    • 1/2 pound baby sweet peppers, quartered and stemmed
  • Marinated Sweet and Hot Peppers (makes about 2 cups)

    • 2 teaspoons fennel seed, toasted and crushed
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
    • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 pound baby sweet peppers, sliced into 1/4-inch rings
    • 3 hot long finger peppers or Fresno chiles, thinly sliced into 1/4-inch rings
    • 2 tablespoons chopped oregano
    • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • Sandwiches

    • 8 hoagie or steak sandwich rolls
    • Braised beef (recipe above)
    • 2 cups beef jus (from braised beef)
    • 2 cups shredded Fontina or 16 slices provolone cheese
    • 1 cup hot giardiniera, drained
    • 1 tablespoon Marinated Sweet and Hot Peppers (optional recipe above)


For the chuck roast:

1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl.

2. Place the chuck roast on a tray and then rub the roast with the seasoning mixture.

3. Place the seasoned roast on a sheet tray. Let sit for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. For extra bonus flavor, refrigerate the seasoned chuck roast overnight.

For the braise:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. On the stove, heat a large braising pot or Dutch oven, over medium to medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to the pot.

3. Using tongs, place the roast in the pot and begin to sear. Let the chuck roast sear for 5-6 minutes on each side (resist the urge to turn to often, you want to sear the meat until deep golden brown), about 10-12 minutes total. Remove seared chuck roast to a tray, set aside.

4. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and add the onion and garlic to the pot, continue to cook for two minutes. Add the red wine and reduce for a minute, then add beef broth, pepperoncini and their liquid, and bring to a boil.

5. Turn off heat, add the chuck roast back to the pan, place in the oven, uncovered Cook for 3 hours or until tender (use tongs and gently pull the meat, if it is resistant, then its not ready and needs to go longer, check after the first hour and a half). Remove from the oven and set aside.

6. Add the peppers to the pot, cover and let cool for 1 hour.

7. Remove the roast and peppers to a mixing bowl. Strain jus and pull the meat using two forks or tongs.

8. Using a ladle, skim fat off the top of the jus and discard. You should have about 2 cups of jus left over.

For the marinated sweet and hot peppers:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the fennel seed, garlic, vinegar, salt, black pepper, sugar and olive oil. Stir to combine and set aside.

2. Preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat for 5 minutes.

3. Working in batches, place peppers in the pan dry, stir occasionally until the center of the peppers are lightly charred, season with a pinch of salt, about 5 minutes per batch.

4. Add the charred peppers to the mixing bowl with the vinegar mixture. Let the peppers sit and marinate in the bowl for 20 minutes or until cool.

5. Once cooled, add fresh herbs, stir to combine. Serve with 2 hours or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

For the sandwiches:

1. Wrap the rolls in foil and place in the oven to warm, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the foil.

2. On a sheet tray, split rolls in half, keeping the back of the bread connected, and place face up on the tray.

3. Divide the meat evenly between all rolls. Spoon the giardiniera on top and/or the marinated peppers. Close and press the ingredients carefully into the center. Place back in the oven uncovered for 3-5 minutes until warm and melty.

4. Serve with jus on the side to dip or drizzle on top.