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“Just like the hero and hoagie shops of the Delaware Valley, the Italian beef stands of Chicago display pictures of celebrities who love them. At the original Al's #1 Italian Beef in Chicago, the wall holds an 8x10 of Jimmy Durante standing with his arm around Al Ferreri, inscribed by The Schnozola, "To Al's and Baba [Al's nickname]: Jink-a-dink-a-doo. What a beef sandwich!" Surrounding that are a picture of prize fighter Michael Spinks grinning with a gleaming set of dentures and a glamour shot donated by a local beauty queen. Several proprietors of beef stands have told us about celebrities who like the razor-thin, garlic sopped beef so much that they have it Fedexed to them overnight”
2hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 6 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
  • 3 -4 lbs boneless chuck roast, well marbled
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 8 hero rolls or 4 lengths Italian bread


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Use a small knife to insert the garlic slivers into the roast all over.
  3. Put the water in a deep baking pan not much larger than the roast. Add the roast and seasonings.
  4. Cover tightly and bake 2 hours, basting 3 or 4 times, adding water if necessary to keep plenty of juice in the pan.
  5. Remove the beef from the pan and allow it to settle. With an extremely sharp knife, slice it into razor-thin pieces.
  6. Degrease the pan and taste the gravy. It should be highly seasoned with a pepper bite. Adjust the seasonings to taste and place the sliced beef in the gravy. Allow it to wallow at least 15-20 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve on lengths of Italian bread with roasted peppers or spicy giardiniera.

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