The following post is brought to you by Mariano’s and Collective Bias. All ideas and opinions are my own.
There’s no dish that reminds me of my hometown more than juicy, sloppy Chicago style Italian beef sandwiches. Chi-cahhh-go. Daaaaa Bears. Daaaa beef.
If I had to think of the perfect tailgating food to it’d be those same Italian Beef sandwiches. I’ve been a Chicago Bears fan all my life, they started their 1985 Super Bowl run shortly after I was born, and I can remember Sundays devoted to hanging out with family, watching the game, and getting scared when everyone would start cheering and screaming at a good play. When I moved to Indiana to go to school, I especially felt homesick when watching the game and missing a good Italian meal.
The recipe is from my mother-in-law (who also has a great homemade giardiera recipe) and uses the real deal: a shredded beef roast that’s been cooked for hours and hours and hours. And hours. The recipe is perfect for tailgating because you start it the night before and can easily grab the whole crock pot and bring it with you to the game.
I bought all of my ingredients at Mariano’s, a grocery store in the Chicagoland area. I’ve mentioned before (here and here) that I love their produce selection and prices, and shopping for a tailgating recipe was even easier. Fresh meats, just baked Italian bread, thinly sliced deli mozzarella, a huge wall of spices, and a huge salad bar that is out of this world. They’re more than just a grocery store, I feel as if I’m in fresh food heaven when I’m there. (If you’ve been, you understand.)
You can see more pictures of our shopping trip here.
And this recipe is pretty simple: throw it all in a crock pot and let it go for a few hours or overnight. The longer the better.
When it’s done, you’ll have meat that is so tender it falls right apart, and if you do it the right way, a sandwich that falls right apart. Soak your bread with the juices to really make it Chicago style – the wetter the better!
I had three sandwiches the day after I made this: breakfast Italian beef, lunch Italian beef, and dinner Italian beef. They’re that good.
If you’ve ever lived in or been to Chicago, this recipe will take you and your tailgating crew right back. GO BEARS!
For more recipe ideas, check out the Mariano’s community (updated weekly!), or find them on Twitter, with the #MyMarianos hashtag, and on Facebook. You can also watch the flash mob they held in one of their stores here, I definitely wouldn’t have expected that from a grocery store!
So what do you think?