Friday, May 23, 2008

Italian Giardiniera and Chicago-style Beef Sandwich

There were alot of Italian descendants where I used to live in Sudbury which meant that there were alot of Itialian products available. Cannolis, good quality deli meats and cheeses, and canned goods. Amongst these I discovered giardiniera which is basically vegetables pickled in oil and vinegar and spices. Here in the non-Italian Atlantic Maritimes, there is no giardiniera in the stores. So I decided I’d make my own. Part of the whole “I want to can stuff” phase I seem to be in right now.

The recipe was easy to find thanks to the internet. It doesn’t quite taste like the product I used to buy but it’ll do. You can find the recipe I used at the following internet address

To go with my homemade giardiniera, I had to find a recipe. What I found in my research is that giardiniera was popular amongst Chicago Italian immigrants. Though they didn’t eat much meat in the old country, they crossed the Atlantic and found a bunch of hearty, burly carnivores who required that every worker eat excessive amounts of protein. The result (and I’m not being very historic here) was the Chicago style Italian beef sandwich. This is basically a mountain of thinly sliced roast beef, loads of giardiniera all atop an Italian style roll and dipped in the jus of the roast beef. Supposedly this soggy sandwich is some people’s reason to get up in the morning. And though I’m sure my attempt was far from the original, I can admit that it was pretty damn good. I wish I could remember what I put in jus for stewing the beef. I know there was a can of tomato sauce, beef stock, probably grainy mustard, etc. But it was good. Though I didn’t take enough meat for myself – we had an unexpected dinner guest – I still enjoyed the sandwich. Especially when I made a mess of dunking it in my bowl of delicious beef jus.

1 comment:

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi, Nice job with the giadiniera and the Chicago style beef!! I'm from Chicago and just had some relatives visit from Florida and thats the first thing they want as soon as the plane lands. I did a post on my blog, stop by and check it out if you can. :)