These are the greatest -- and since most of my family no longer lives in or near the West Side of Chicago or its next-door neighbor suburbs, we need something to get our fix. Imagine, right after we moved, we bought "Beefs" at a stand, and to our horror, found little bitty onion chunks and CARROTS mixed in the shreds of roast beef. This was definitely NOT like "back inda naybuhhood" !! Personally, we like slices, others like shreds, but still -- the only veggies allowed to be seen are the peppers tucked in once you load your sandwich. Make sure to get a good firm Italian bread loaf or crusty, full-bodied sandwich rolls. Wimpy, airy bread and rolls won't hold the "gravy", as we call it, and it's just not a Beef without that. And speaking of the gravy, yes, you really do want to add that many spices, as they'll cook down some. Cooking/prep times do not include cooling time. Another side note -- this is a great recipe to prepare and then leave on low in a crock pot for parties.