We do a lot of entertaining at our cabin in Michigan. Yes,Â you probably guessed from the picture below we are in the snow belt. We lure folks to visit the beautiful organic pristine shore of Lake Superior all year around from far and wide but mostly from Illinois and Wisconsin. So after a hard day of skiing, true to our Chicago roots, we love to have Italian Beef Sandwiches. We start it the day before for best flavors. Our good friend Mike came to visit recently and shared his family recipe for Italian Beef. It’s legendary and we are lucky he brought up his pressure cooker and gave us a lesson. So let’s make Italian Beef!
Italian Beef, Chicago Style
- We used Beef Shanks with a bone, picking “meaty” pieces of meat is critical to good Italian Beef
Separate the meat from the bones, and place in a bowl to chill.
In the old days, you would have saved that fat for another use. You can do it if you want to, I won’t tell… (personally, I think a little bit with sauteed onions would be very tasty)
Now you can turn this into shredded beef for tacos at this point if you want to- just add Mexican spices and you can have dinner for another night when you are not in the mood to cook..
This is a trick I learned from living in New Orleans, they did this a lot for po-boy preparations
Toast that bread for optimum flavor…
Now if you want my homemade Giardinara recipe click here
Mike’s Famous Pressure Cooker Italian Beef
To print recipe click here
4 lbs beef shanks (arm roast or round bone pot roast cut 1 inch thick works even better)
2 Tablespoons Lea and Perrin
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic
2Â bay leaves
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Sprinkle Lea and Perrin and onion powder liberally on meat. Pour olive oil in bottom of pressure cooker and heat over medium heat. Brown each piece of meat and set aside until all pieces of meat are browned. Deglaze the pot with 1/4 cup of red wine, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen all the delicious bits of browned flavor.
Add the meat back in and add enough water to completely cover the meat. Add the garlic and bay leaves. Place the lid of the pressure cooker securely on the pot and turn the heat up until the steam comes out of the stem of the cooker. When the steam comes out, place theÂ weight on the pressure cooker, turn down to medium high. There should be a steady rhythmic sound twice a second when the proper cooking pressure is reached. The pressure recommended isÂ 15 lbs per square inch. For more info on pressure cooker operations click here or for the traditional weighted model click here.
Cook under pressure 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off cooker and let the cooker cool down.
Lift off the lid and separate the meat from the bones. Take the time toÂ clean the meat from any fat or gristle, this will make a difference in the end result. Place the meat inÂ the bottom of theÂ bowl and strain the remaining liquid over the top. Press the meat down or add a small amount of water to make sure the meat is covered. Cover and let chill until the fat solidifys on top.
The next day skim the tallow or fat from the bowl. Put the meat in a pot to heat up. Shred with 2 forks pulling the meat apart into small pieces. Add the Italian seasoning at this time and gently reheat. Thoroughly shred so there are no chunks. Do not boil for best results.
Serve over toasted rolls; sourdough hoagie rolls with the center bread pulled out works well. Garnish with Gardinara, featured in a previous post.
You can also substitute 1 tablespoon taco seasoning for the Italian seasoning to use the beef for tacos.