Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Italian Beef

This recipe is a family favorite. For as long as I can remember my grandmother and mother have served this Italian Beef at family gatherings. We've had it on Christmas Eve, Easter, Father's Day, birthdays and just your average Saturdays.

Our family originally hails from Southern Illinois, which has the odd mix of a Midwest sensibility with a definite Southern flair. Influenced by St. Louis and Chicago and Memphis and Louisville, "Little Egypt" as it's sometimes known combines Yankee and Antebellum cultures with ease. Now that you know that little bit of regional background, it won't sound so odd when I tell you that our family serves this classic Chicago dish with the unabashed Southern staple of Cheese Grits. It's a perfect marriage of flavors and textures.

Back to the meat though.

The smell of it cooking all afternoon will draw people in to the kitchen like moths to a porch light. You can cook it a day ahead of time and let it steep in it's juices overnight, you can throw it in a slow cooker and let it simmer all day. No matter how you cook it, it takes very little effort to prepare which makes it a fantastic meal to serve a crowd.

If you've never had an Italian Beef sandwich there's really only one proper way to eat it. You start by ladling the meat and plenty of juices  on a thick white, kaiser roll. Horseradish and banana peppers optional. Then you take a bite, letting the juices run down your chin. That's it. No knife or fork just plenty of napkins and people to share it with.

Tips:
  • Recently we've been using Tri-Tip to make this dish, and find it a little more tender. 
  • You can cut the crushed red pepper in half (to 1 teaspoon) if you prefer a milder flavor.


Italian Beef

6 lb rump roast
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 package dried onion soup mix (like Lipton's or Knorr)
3 cups water

Place roast in a large Dutch oven and sprinkle seasonings and soup mix over it. Add water to pot and cover with lid. Bake at 325 degrees for 4 hours, basting occasionally. Slice meat thin and serve with juices for sandwiches.




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4 comments:

Yenta Mary said...

Sigh ... :)

Anonymous said...

It was delicious the other night. That mother of ours knows what she is doing!I think Dr. Pie Fiend ate 3 sandwiches.

Sis

Lori@ Paisley Passions said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and following me. I am following back. Can't wait to browse through these recipes! :)

@Paisley Passions
@Laughter & Memories

{ L } said...

I have never used this!! BUT you have definitely intrigued me. This is on my list of things to try. Thank you for this new discovery. <3

PS You are in Gooseberry Patch cookbooks?!!! WOW that is so exciting!

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