Sunday, March 1, 2009
Delicious Sandwich Night: Italian beef
It's no secret that I'm a veggie kind of gal. When it comes to Chicago foods, like deep-dish pizzas and hot dogs, I'm all for piling on the veggie toppings, stuffing spinach into the crust, dressing a dog with tomatoes and onions and a pickle.
But the Italian beef sandwich never really appealed to me. I need the fresh, crunchy texture of onions and lettuce, the juiciness of tomatoes, some sort of mustard or dressing on my sandwiches. The only veggies on an Italian beef is giardiniera, which is spicy, and my tolerance for spicy is just plain pathetic. The only sauce is the beef broth that drips from the meat and drenches the bread. That's all. It's just a whole lot of meat on a roll. Not really my kind of sandwich.
We had Delicious Sandwich Night last week, the first one since November, when I had foolishly proclaimed a Delicious Sandwich Night feature once a month (ha!). We made Italian beefs. Murdo showed me a jar of mild giardiniera and insisted that I try it.
And you know what? The Italian beef sandwich is really growing on me. It's anything but a simple sandwich. The meat is flavorful and juicy and tender and melts in the mouth. The bread soaks up the meat's juices and adds yet another layer of melty to the sandwich without making the bread too soggy. The bread is soft and chewy and sturdy. The mild giardiniera is not spicy at all and gives me just the crunch I need.
Man. Looking at these pictures again, I'm actually kind of craving an Italian beef right about now.