Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Italian "Beef" Sandwiches with Homemade Giardiniera

As a Chicagoan, I do not participate in the city's love of Italian beef with all the gross juiciness. Instead, I create much healthier versions that lack meat and share for all the world to make as well. :D

Cute humor aside, this turned out freaking fantastic. This is coming from a vegan, vegetarian, and the two omnivores that all had it. If anyone tries it (or any recipes for that matter), could you please send a picture my way at veganmiss@gmail.com? I would appreciate it! On the Facebook and Flickr for Vegan Miss, I post pictures of people's recreations (with credit, of course). 

If anyone has gone to Revolution Brewing here in the city (owned by the Handlebar people), there are these awesome polenta fries with vegan aioli. With it comes their homemade giardiniera. My friends and I always love it and so I decided to make my own. It turned out pretty good! I didn't add any spice to it (via jalapenos or serranos) because I don't like much spicy stuff.

Italian "Beef" Sandwiches

* Prep Time:  15-20 minutes
* Cook Time: 1 hour
* Ingredients (for seitan):
  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetarian "beef" broth*
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 (14 oz.) firm tofu package
* Ingredients (for au jus):
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetarian "beef" broth
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp tobasco
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce*
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 jar pepperoncini juice (16 oz.)
  • 8 pepperoncini, sliced
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • 1 bottle of ale beer (12 oz.)*
* Ingredients (for sandwich assembly):
  • 5-6 french rolls*
  • 2-3 tsp homemade giardiniera*
  • 1 pepperoncini, sliced 
* Recipe (for seitan):
  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Blend tofu and other wet ingredients in blender or food processor until tofu is smooth.
  3. Put wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl. Mix well.
  4. Roll into a log that is 2.5 - 3 in. wide. Loosely roll foil around the seitan log and twist both ends like a tootsie roll.
  5. Place in a pot with au jus. Have something holding it from the bottom so it is not touching the broth (ex: a deep cookie cutter).
  6. Steam for 1 hour. While you are steaming, the au jus is cooking.
  7. When done steaming, take out of pot, allow to cool. When cool, slice thinly like deli meat.
* Recipe (for au jus):
  1. In a medium pot, add all the ingredients together. Cook with the seitan (see recipe above).
  2. Serve with the Italian beef, either dipping the bread or the seitan.
* Recipe (for sandwich assembly):
  1. Slice the french roll in half lengthwise. Dip the bread in au jus, if desired.
  2. Add a heaping pile of au jus soaked sliced seitan. Top with giardiniera and pepperoncini.
* Note: For vegetarian beef bouillon, I used Better Than Bouillon brand No Beef Base. For vegan Worcestershire sauce, I used The Wizard's brand. For ale beer, make sure it is vegan on Barnivore. Make sure the french rolls are vegan. For homemade giardiniera, see my recipe below.

Homemade Giardiniera

* Prep Time: 24 hours
* Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours
* Ingredients:
  • 2 green peppers, chopped fine
  • 2 red peppers, chopped fine
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped fine*
  • 3-4 medium to small celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 1 large carrot, chopped fine
  • 1 small white onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • water, to cover
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cup olive oil
* Recipe:
  1. Chop the first seven ingredients and mix in a big bowl. Add the salt and enough water to cover the vegetables. Cover the bowl. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day, drain and rinse the vegetables of the salt water.
  3. Wash canning jars with soap and water. Dry completely (inside and out). Bake the jars at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes. Allow jars to cool to touch (do not touch the rim or inside, though).
  4. Spoon the vegetables into jars almost to the top (3/4th to 1 in. from the top).
  5. Boil the jar lids in a small pot for about 10 minutes.
  6. In a pot, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil. Once at a boil, bring to a low simmer and then spoon the mixture into the jars with the vegetables.
  7. Using prongs, top the jars with their lids. Screw on ring until tight to touch.
  8. Place the jars into a large pot of boiling water (so the jars are submerged). Boil for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove and allow to cool before touching jars.
* Note: I used half pint jars for canning this giardiniera. It made about 10 jars. Canning the jars like this should allow one to be able to leave them as is until the seal is broken. If one does not want to can it, they could just put the vegetables and liquid mixture in a jar and keep it in the fridge. Lastly, feel free to add jalapenos or serranos to this recipe. I don't like spicy stuff, so I put in the poblano.

Speaking of canning, two weeks ago, I made a whole ton of pickled vegetables. Included were several dill pickle jars (slices and spears), beats with ginger, cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, green tomatoes, and cauliflower. I'm waiting a few more weeks until I open them. Really, one can wait for a week and then try your pickled concoctions, but the longer the better. When I do open them and if they are good, I'll post the recipes. I'm looking forward to making pickled fried green tomatoes!


Basht said...

i need to make this... very very soon.

Anonymous said...

cute blog! i'll be back!

Amy Lynn said...

Looks really good! I LOVE Giardiniera and also don't like the spicy stuff, I need to try making it!
I love the sandwich at Handlebar that uses their homemade Giardiniera and the aioli!

PixiePirate said...

My husband made Italian beef for his birthday. We had invited my dad, his wife and their kids who are all vegan, so I made this for them. My little brother took the lot home and ate the leftovers for sandwiches. Even my carnivorous friends said it was the best they've ever had. Thanks for sharing!

Terrance Moran said...

I made this recipe twice in the last couple weeks. Very nice flavor, no strong vinegar taste either. With the first batch I doubled the veggies and filled ten half pint jars. I used serrano peppers out of my garden, they are 1-1/2 inches long and pertty hot, I used ten peppers the first batch, the flavor had just a slight hint of heat. The second batch I again doubled the veggies but this time I used thirty peppers, that should bring up the heat.

LouAnn Rodgers said...

Wonderful collection
Is it OK to share with credit

template by suckmylolly.com : background by Tayler : dingbat font TackODing