The Tailgate Fare is back after the Bye last week, and we are coming to you a day earlier than normal thanks to some odd scheduling techniques that have us playing this Friday. Fridays are for High School football, and as Coach Day pointed out: some high school coaches may not appreciate it...but don't tell the Big Ten commish.
With that said, any time we have the opportunity to make some Chicago Style food is a great time. Instead of doing the obvious "deep dish" pizza, I'm going with another Chicago classic: Italian Style Beef (thanks to the guys at amazingribs.com).
- 1 boneless beef roast (sirloin or round), about 3 pounds with most of the fat trimmed off
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 6 cups of hot water
- 4 cubes of beef bouillon
- 10 soft, fluffy, rolls, sliced lengthwise
- 3 medium sized green bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, approximately
- 1 cup hot giardiniera
- Prep. Mix the rub in a bowl. Coat the meat lightly with water to help the rub stick, sprinkle it generously on the meat, and massage it in. There will be some left over. Do not discard it, we will use it in the juice.
- Fire up. Put a rack just below the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F.
- Cook. Pour the water into a 9 x 13" baking pan and heat it to a boil on the direct heat side of the grill, on the side burner, or on the stove top. Dissolve the bouillon in the water. It may look thin, but it will cook down and concentrate during the roasting. Pour the remaining rub into the pan. Place a rack on top of the pan and place them both in the oven. Place the roast on top of the rack above the juice. Roast at 325°F until interior temperature is about 130°F for medium rare, about 40 minutes per pound (exact time will depend on the cut of meat, its thickness, and how well calibrated your cooker is). Don't worry if there are people who won't eat medium-rare meat. The meat will cook further in step 5, and you can just leave theirs in the juice until it turns to leather if that's what they want.
- Beware. This recipe is designed for a 9 x 13" baking pan. If you use a larger pan, the water may evaporate and the juice will burn. If you have to use a larger pan, add more water. Regardless of pan size, keep an eye on the pan to make sure it doesn't dry out during cooking. Add more water if necessary.
- While the meat is roasting, cut the bell peppers in half and remove the stems and seeds. Rinse, and cut into 1/4" strips. Cook the peppers in a frying pan over a medium high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom, about 1 tablespoon. When they are getting limp and the skins begin to brown, about 15 minutes, they are done. Set aside at room temp.
- Prep again. Remove the roast and the juice pan. Take the meat off the rack and remove the rack. Pour off the juice, put the meat back in the pan, and place it in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Let it cool for a few hours, long enough for the meat to firm up. This will make slicing easier. Chill the juice, too, in a separate container. Slice the meat against the grain as thin as humanly possible, preferably with a meat slicer.
- Taste the juice. If you want you can thin it with more water, or make it richer by cooking it down on top of the stove. In Chicago beef stands it is rich, but not too concentrated. Then turn the heat to a gentle simmer. Soak the meat in the juice for about 1 minute at a low simmer. That's all. That warms the meat and makes it very wet.
- Serve. To assemble the sandwich, start by spooning some juice directly onto the bun. Get it wet. Then lay on the beef generously. Spoon on more juice (don't burn your hand). Top it with bell pepper and, if you wish, giardiniera. If you want it "wet", dip the whole shootin' match in juice. Be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand.
Note - The 9x13 baking dish is exact. If you change up the size of the dish, you will need to adjust the amount of water used accordingly.
I plan on enjoying some E.H. Taylor or Eagle Rare with these sandwiches during the game.
Enjoy, and Go Bucks!