Italian Beef Sandwiches

Want to know more about those mouth watering juicy Italian beef sandwiches? Find out as we take a look at the origins, variations and methods of preparations of the Italian beef sandwich.

The famous Italian beef sandwich is actually believed to have originated in the city of Chicago back in the 1930’s. This delicious sandwich consists of a seasoned roast beef filling that is in the form of thin slices and is always dripping with juices. The meat lies inside a long Italian style roll which is dipped into the gravy to add to the taste. Green Italian sweet peppers are used to top the sandwich. Italian beef sandwiches are most commonly found in Chicago as it happens to be the area where they originated from.

How to make an Italian beef sandwich

The particular piece of meat used in the Italian beef sandwich is from the sirloin butt that is wet roasted in broth with other items like garlic, spices and oregano. The beef is roasted till it is rare or medium and then cooled. The beef is then shredded using a deli slicer and then reintroduced into the broth. The wet and dripping beef is then placed on a chewy bread because if soft bread was used it would become extremely mushy. Alternatively you can use precooked Italian beef which you will be able to get in the form of slices to be used for the sandwich. This is then dipped into a broth that is prepared separately. The best of the sandwich makers will however almost always prepare the sandwich themselves from scratch.

The disputed origins

Some argue that the credit for the Italian beef sandwich goes to certain Italian immigrants who used to work for the old Union Stock Yards. The workers would take home the most unwanted cuts of the beef and to make them more edible they used to prepare them in the way that the beef for the Italian sandwich is made today. They would then thinly slice the beef and place it into fresh Italian bread and in this way they had a great sandwich at their hands. The Italian sandwich also became a great item to serve during weddings and other celebrations as it was inexpensive and easy to make.

The different kinds of Italian beef sandwiches

You will be able to get Italian beef sandwiches in varying degrees of juiciness depending upon what you prefer. Each sandwich vendor has its own classification and bench marks. Basically you have three categories when it comes to juiciness of the sandwich.

1. Wet or dipped. The bread is quickly dunked in the juice prior to serving
2. Juicy. A degree wetter than the first one.
3. Soaked. This is obviously the dripping wet one.

There are other combo meals and variations that have developed over the years regarding Italian beef sandwiches. The hot dipped sandwich is the standard Italian beef on gravy wetted bread topped with giardiniera. The combo would often include a sausage with the meal. Similarly you will be able to get the same kind of meal in a Sweet dry manner. This one is topped with sweet peppers. If you want you can even get the gravy bread as a separate entity or add cheese to your Italian beef sandwich. The triple double is probably the best version which consists of a double serving of beef, sausages and cheese.

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