I thought this recipe was a little too salty, and while it smelled almost exactly like Portillo's it wasn't the same taste. A lot has to do with the texture of the meat. True Chicago Italian beef is thinly sliced, and there's nothing I can do at home to replicate that.
However, I had an idea. I substituted the beef roast with a boneless turkey breast. Subbed the water with low sodium chicken broth, omitted the salt, and added a little crushed red pepper. All the rest of the recipe remained the same, and I was left with one of the best sandwiches I've ever encountered. Sure, it's not Chicago Italian beef, but, it is a healthy cousin and a treat for those of you looking for a different twist on turkey breast.
Wow. Grew up around Chicago, and was spoiled with good italian beefs. Portillo's beef isn't the end-all-be-all, but pretty darn good. I tried this recipe twice, and was truly disappointed. I had to remake the jus and improvise to find something passable. The salt is way too high, but the real killer is the amount of oregano. Too much leads to serious bitterness, and this recipe has way too much. To rectify, try this: 3 cups water, 1 cube beef bullion, one sprig FRESH oregano, 1 sprig FRESH basil, 2 cloves of fresh garlic and about a teaspoon of onion salt. Forget the bay leaf and parsley.
This recipe is allright but not even close to Portillo's Italian Beef.But is still tasty.I would prefer the thin sliced meat as opposed to this shredded recipe.The italian salad dressing part was confusing as they do not make that size package.I don't believe Portillo's beef can be copied. But don't stop trying !
Very good but i did ask the butcher to cut the meat into chiped beef so it would also look the same.It is not called sliced chiped beef you can add a few things different real diced onion and garlic and parsley chopped instead of the spice or salt
I'm a native Chicagoan living in Texas. We make this for Sunday family dinner about once a month. We love the recipe. The beef needs to be sliced thin for that authentic taste. My husband had the genius idea to run the cooked beef through the food processor. You have to trim the beef to fit in the slicing shoot, but it works great!
Ok I am going to try this tomorrow for dinner. Except I bought Vienna Italian beef because it was on sale at the grocery store this week, and I love portillos as well. So we will see how the juice turns out with the thinly slices meat :)
This certainly cures the craving for Portillo's! It's just so hard to find the right type of bread :(
Addendum to previous review. Will delete salt next time and use good seasons dressing only as it makes the beef salty enough. Also low sodium beef broth instead of water. Other spices as written.
My new mother in law made this for me and my husbands wedding party and it was delicious. Everyone loved it. She did not add the salt though because of the high amount of salt and the dressing mix and the onion salt. She found this recipe at allrecipes.com and it was called slow cooker Italian beef for sandwiches. Thanks so much for posting this wonderful recipe.
3/26/01: I wanted to add to my review, since this recipe a fast and easy way to make a type of Italian Beef, although really not like Portillos. Taking out the beef and letting it sit on a plate or cutting board until cool is a most if you want authentic thin-sliced beef, rather than shredded. After slicing, do not put into the hot jus until ready to serve, or it will get tough if it continues cooking IMO. By far, however, shredding is the faster way of having quick and easy sandwiches. I do not add salt at all because of salty dressing packets. You can always mix in garlic salt after everything is done if you need it. If you don't like somewhat-hot giardinara relish or pepperocini peppers on the sandwiches as is usually done in Chicago, sauteed green peppers are are also used. I make a time-consuming version of authentic Chicago Italian Beef , but this by far is a lot less hassle and gives you a taste of Chicago.. 2/2/10: Over time, I have made this as directed, which was good. I then modified recipe by omitting the salts, using 2 envelopes of ranch dressing, and added 1 can unsalted beef broth and water to make 3 cups. As others did, I put in crockpot for 10 hours then placed beef on a plate to firm up and sliced beef thinly before returning to jus and serving. Portillos also serves a spicy jarred giardinara relish on the side to serve with sandwiches.