Homemade Italian Beef Sandwiches made from scratch – the authentic way – really are the BEST! They are juicy, savory and addictive to eat! I usually start by saying that I only want a half of a sandwich. Then I eat the other half. Still craving more I will crisp up another Turano Bun and dig in to eat a second whole sandwich. This is how you know it’s a great Italian Beef. Serve with Chicago-style giardiniera for that extra spicy kick and sweet bell peppers for the real deal! This recipe is for a crowd. It uses a 10 pound beef roast and will serve 18+ people. If you don’t need to cook for a crowd, you should know this recipe freezes beautifully. You can have authentic homemade Italian Beef sandwiches anytime.
OK, now here is the tough love part. It takes 2 days to make Italian Beef from scratch. If you really want to be authentic, start with a homemade Bone Bone from roasted beef bones to get an extra intense beef flavor in your au jus. That will add another 30 hours of time. Don’t worry, this recipe uses store-bought beef stock to save time. When I make Bone Broth, I always freeze extra quarts for recipes just like this. So plan accordingly.
My husband Tom (the gadget guy) bought a deli-style meat slicer. He lugs it up from the basement when I need it. I use it for slicing homemade Maple Espresso bacon, prosciutto and hams. An alternative to the deli-slicer is to use an electric knife or bring the cooked roast beef to your butcher. Many local butchers will be happy to accommodate you.
Another important trick to getting this perfectly rare roast beef with a good crust is the unique oven method detailed in the recipe. Basically, a seasoned top round beef roast with the fat cap is placed in a 500 degree oven for 5 minutes per pound. Then turn off the oven and let it sit in the hot oven for 2 1/2 hours! You will have perfect rare roast beef that registers at 140 degrees.
If you read this far and decided that its sounds like too much work, then check out my EASY Chicago-Style Italian Beef Sandwiches recipes that can done in a crockpot or Dutch oven with pot roast. The easy version was one of my Mom’s favorite go-to party recipes.
Courtesy of Al’s Beef in Chicago, here is the proper way to eat an Italian Beef – The Italian Stance.
If you make this authentic from scratch recipe for Italian Beef Sandwiches, I would love to hear from you. What was your experience. Did you learn any tricks to share. Was it worth it?
The BEST Italian Beef Sandwiches from Scratch
- Roast Beef
- 9 - 10 pound beef top round roast with fat cap room temperature
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning dried herb mixture
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- To Make the Au Jus
- 4 quarts of homemade Beef Stock
- 6 sprigs of parsley with stems
- 6 large pepperoncini
- ½ cup drained giardiniera
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes season to taste
- 5 pounds sliced roast beef
- To assemble the Italian Beef Sandwiches
- 18 Turano pre-split French Rolls crisped in oven for 10 minutes
- Cooked greens peppers
- Mild and Hot Giardiniera
- Extra Aus Jus for dipping
- To make the Roast Beef
- Notes: Be sure your oven is clean before doing this recipe. The high oven temperature will cause any grease in your oven to smoke. I learned this the hard way.
- Heat the oven to 500° degrees for 30-45 minutes to get the oven as hot as possible. Prepare a shallow baking pan with a rack inside.
- Mix the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian herbs in a small bowl.
- Rub the roast with olive oil on all sides of the beef roast. With your hands, rub the spice mixture all over the meat, on all side.
- Place the roast, fat side up, on the rack in the baking pan. Let rest while oven is heating.
- Place roast in the oven, close door, and immediately lower the oven temperature to 475°F degrees.
- Roast at 475°F for 5 minutes per pound for rare/medium rare. Remember the beef will cook some more in the au jus. The outside of the beef will turn dark and crusty due to the high heat. This is what you want.
- After the high-heat roast, turn off the oven and let roast sit in the oven 2-1/2 hours. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR. THIS IS KEY TO A PERFECT ROAST.
- Remove roast and check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer. It should be around 140 degrees. Let the roast rest for 30 minutes.
- Pour the juices and fat into fat strainer and remove any excessive grease. Transfer to a glass bowl. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the baking pan and transfer to the bowl. This is an important step to capture all the flavor. Store the beef juice and bits in the fridge until ready to make the au jus.
- Wrap the cooked beef roast tightly in foil and place in the fridge overnight.Next Day
- The next day, slice the roast as thin as possible. The best way is with a electric meat/deli slicer or bring to a butcher and ask for a favor. If not, use a sharp knife and be as patient as possible. A 10 pound cooked beef roast will produce about 6-7 pounds of sliced beef. The loss is from fat/juices during the cooking, and any ends that are too hard to slice thin. Use the ends for another meal. The sliced beef can also be vacuumed packed in 2 pound packages and froze for later use.To Make the Au Jus
- Place the beef stock in a large dutch oven pot on the stovetop over medium high heat. Add the saved beef juice/bits, parsley, Worcestershire, pepperocini, giardiniera, garlic, bay leaf, salt, red pepper, black pepper and oregano and stir. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer. This can also be done is a slow cooker.
- Add the sliced roast beef. Let the beef simmer in the au jus for 30 minutes to fully absorb and meld the flavors. The beef can simmer on very low heat up to two hours before serving.To assemble the Italian Beef Sandwiches
- Place a “tong-full” or 2 of sliced beef in the cut pocket of the warmed Turano roll. Hold the bun with your tongs and dunk once quickly back in the au jus. Serve the Italian beef sandwich wrapped in wax paper and with napkins.
- Offer cooked sweet green peppers, hot and mild Giardiniera condiments, and extra Au Jus on the side.