Dr. BBQ’s Authentic Chicago Style Italian Beef

Italian Beef

Italian Beef

This recipe originally appeared in my NFL Game Day Cookbook, and now I have simplified it with my Garlic & Herb Italian Beef Rub – Click to Buy Here.

Dr. BBQ’s Chicago Style Italian Beef

This is the classic street food of Chicago. After 25 years of driving a truck in Chicago, I'd sampled all of the old original places and was ready to create my own version. This version uses my Italian Beef Seasoning. Get the classic Chicago rolls from Turano or Gonnella if you can, or substitute the best French bread you can find.
Note: This recipe is best cooked and cooled overnight before slicing and serving. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 10 servings


  • 1 Medium size roasting pan, preferably with a lid
  • 1 Shallow rack that fits in the roasting pan



  • 4 pound Top or Bottom Round beef roast
  • Dr. BBQ’s Italian Beef Rub (See order link in notes.)


  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Dr. BBQ’s Italian Beef Rub


  • Preheat the oven to 450° 
  • Season the roast liberally with Dr. BBQ’s Italian Beef Rub
  • Place it on a rack in a medium roasting pan and put it in the oven.
  • Cook for 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile combine the gravy ingredients and mix well
  • After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 350°
  • Remove the roasting pan from the oven
  • Slowly pour the gravy over the roast into the pan
  • Cover with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil
  • Return to the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat reaches and internal temp of 150°
  • Remove from the oven, uncover, and let cool for 30 minutes
  • Wrap the roast in foil and refrigerate for at least four hours but preferably overnight
  • Transfer the gravy to a bowl being sure to get any stuck stuff from the bottom of the pan. At this point you should have 3 and 1/2 to 4 cups of gravy. If you’re short, add enough water to make 3 and 1/2 cups
  • Cover and refrigerate the gravy with the beef
  • The next day, take the meat out of the refrigerator and slice it as thinly as possible. Slicing while cold will help. This is a very important part of the recipe. If you can use an electric slicer that would be the best, as you want it very thin. If not, get your best sharp knife and take your time slicing it as thin as you possibly can. The authentic Chicago Italian Beef is sliced paper thin and that is key to its taste. 
  • Put the gravy in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat and bring it to a simmer
  • Add the beef separating it as you go, and toss to coat
  • Return to a simmer and serve


This is best served on crusty French rolls dipped in the gravy. Add Chicago Style sweet Peppers and spicy hot Giardiniera for a true Chicago experience.  
Note: This recipe is best cooked and cooled overnight before slicing and serving. 
Order Dr. BBQ's Garlic & Herb Italian Beef Rub Here

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