Italian Beef Steak

A heavenly sandwich here with shredded beef and giardiniera, an Italian relish of pickled veggies in oil!


The Italian Beef sandwich originated in Chicago and consists of thin slices of seasoned roast beef simmered and served au jus on long Italian-style roll. The bread itself is often dipped (or double-dipped) into the au jus, i.e. gravy, and the sandwich is typically topped off with Chicago-style giardiniera (called “hot”) or sauteed green Italian sweet peppers (called “sweet”).

My version of this classic is inspired by Matty Matheson’s Home Style Cookery, Italian Beef Sandwich. I liked his version because Matty shredded the beef versus thin slices 👍. I’ve also been wanting to create a giardiniera from scratch for my olive salad, I make from time to time. Boy, have I been missing out on making this because it’s incredibly easy to make and VERY tasty.

I hope you enjoy this sandwich and if you use my recipe, please share 🙏 your feedback below, cheers!



Some Notes

  • Braising the Beef – The secret to this sandwich is the braising liquid which makes for great sandwich gravy or dipper! My braising method is easy peasy, I added two white onions, 4 cloves of garlic and salt and pepper. Just slice the onions in half and smash the garlic cloves. You’ll strain the liquid so don’t worry about adding the onion skins.


  • Type of Beef to Braise – For this recipe I shredded the beef versus the traditional slicing and a beef chuck roast is perfect for shredding after hours of braising. Other cuts that are either the same or come from the same area include blade roast, beef roast, shoulder roast, shoulder steak or pot roast. Anything with great marbling would shred easily, so just see what you can get your hands on 👍!


  • Got Leftover Shredded Beef – I love shredded beef because it’s incredibly flavorful and makes for great leftover meals, check out some of my easy midweek meals that would make great use of your leftover shredded beef:


  • Giardiniera Style – The Italian version of giardiniera includes bell peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower and gherkins. The veggies are then marinated in oil, red or white vinegar, herbs and spices. Chicago-style giardiniera is commonly made hot-style with the addition of spicy peppers and crushed red pepper.  My version has some slight heat from jalapeno peppers and the vinegar punch you want in a giardiniera. If you don’t like heat, I wouldn’t add the jalapenos from my recipe. I would suggest making the giardiniera a day or two before to allow the veggies to pickle. I finished the pickled veggies with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and a pinch of oregano.


  • Ordering an Italian Beef Steak – If you’re ordering an Italian Beef Steak you better know how to order it 😉
    • Dry, Wet, or Dipped?
      • Dry – The beef is pulled from the juice with tongs, most of the juice is allowed to drip off and it is put into an Italian-style roll.
      • Wet – The beef is pulled from the juice and immediately put into an Italian-style roll, leaving the beef “wet”. I served mine essentially wet because I added a ladle or two of the braising liquid after shredding.
      • Dipped – The beef is pulled from the juice, put into the roll, and then the entire roll is dipped into the beef juice, making a soggy and very messy sandwich.
    • Hot and/or Sweet?
      • When ordering a beef “hot,” it refers to hot-style giardiniera.
      • When ordering a beef “sweet,” it refers to sauteed Italian sweet peppers.
    • Cheese or No Cheese?
      • The main type of cheese offered on a beef steak in Chicago is mozzarella, aka mozz.
    • My Italian Beef Steak – Beef, wet, hot! Since I was making this at home, we had the luxury of dipping ourselves versus the traditional “dip” and boy was it tasty 😋!


Italian Beef Steak

Jackie Ferguson
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Preparing the Giardiniera 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • Italian-style rolls

Chuck Roast

  • 3-4 lbs beef chuck roast
  • 64 oz beef stock, or enough to cover the roast
  • 2 onions, sliced in half
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1-2 TBSP salt, for seasoning the roast
  • 1 TBSP ground pepper, for seasoning the roast

Chicago Style Hot Giardiniera

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ½ cauliflower head, core removed and chopped into small bite sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, diced into small bite sized pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, diced into small bite sized pieces
  • 1 white onion, diced into small bite sized pieces
  • 2 jalapenos, diced finely
  • 1 drizzle EVOO
  • 1 pinch dried oregano


Preparing the Chuck Roast

  • Add all Chuck Roast ingredients to a dutch oven and cover and bake at 325 degrees for 2 hour. At the 2 hour point, turn the roast and bake for 2 more hours or until meat is very tender.

Preparing the Chicago Style Hot Giardiniera

  • In a medium saucepan, add the vinegar, sugar and salt and simmer for ~10 minutes on medium heat allowing the sugar to dissolve. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your veggies and add them to a large heat safe mixing bowl. Add the vinegar to the mixing bowl and place into your refrigerator and allow the veggies to pickle for a few hours.

Preparing the Sandwich

  • Once the chuck roast is done, add the chuck roast to a heat safe bowl and shred. Strain the au jus and add a ladle or two to the shredded beef.
  • Drizzle the pickled veggies with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of dried oregano and mix until well combined.
  • Slice your Italian-style rolls. If you prefer, toast your rolls slightly before adding the shredded beef.
  • Add the shredded beef to the roll and top with hot giardiniera
  • Slice the sandwich and serve with an au jus dipper for extra goodness, enjoy and cheers 🍻!
Keyword Beef Chili, Chicago Beef Sandwich, Chicago Beef Steak, Giardiniera

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