Chicago is famous for many things: deep dish pizza, baseball, fierce politics, and the Italian beef sandwich. Not everyone’s lives have been touched by the Italian beef sandwich, but those who have had it will never, ever forget it.
What is an Italian beef sandwich, you ask? It’s an average roast beef sandwich kicked up a notch. Italian beef is full of flavor with the help of a special ingredient: giardiniera. Giardiniera is a blend of pickled vegetables (and usually a few chilies) that add a saltiness, a sourness, and a bite that no mere roast beef sandwich could ever hope to have. All of this blends to form one fantastic sandwich and here they will make a great pizza, too.
Ingredients for Italian beef pizza
- 1 deep dish pizza crust
For the cheese:
- 1/2 cup mozzarella
- 1/2 cup provolone
For the sauce:
- 1 pound ground beef (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1, 14-ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
For the toppings:
- 1 pound roast beef (preferably homemade roast beef, not deli slices)
- 4 tablespoons giardiniera
- 12 dill pickle rounds
- 12 pickled sport peppers (like in a Chicago-style hot dog)
- If you are using a crust mix, follow the package instructions for making and pre-baking a deep dish pizza. If your mix does not have pre-baking instructions, bake it for 15 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. If you are using a pre-made crust, it doesn’t need to be pre-baked. Premade or not, try to bake the pizza in a pan that has high sides to give the crust enough support to keep its shape
- While the crust is baking, start making the sauce: brown the hamburger in a skillet. The hamburger does not need to be put on the pizza (though it certainly can), but it will add a nice flavor to the sauce. When the hamburger is browned, remove it from the skillet and add the garlic; sauté the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the tomato sauce and basil; bring to a boil and set aside.
- Once the sauce is ready, construct the pizza Chicago-style. Put both kinds of cheese on the crust, then add all the toppings, and finish with the sauce; bake until the cheese melts, for about 8 to 10 minutes.