Vegan Italian Beef
The ICONIC CHICAGO Sandwich, but VEGAN!
Okay for some reason, when I went to Chicago (before going vegan) I somehow never got an Italian Beef Sandwich. I remember I was really excited about the Hot Dogs and Pizza, but this wasn't on my radar. In fact, I hadn't really heard of it until a few people on Instagram told me I should make one, and I'm glad I did!
This actually came about because I was attempting the Vegan Drumsticks that Woon Heng made recently, and I was having a hard time with it. But as I was messing around with the Yuba, I realized it reminded me of thinly sliced beef. And then I started thinking about this sandwich, and that was basically it!
It's a glorious sandwich too! It's simple and only comprised of 4 things, the "Beef" the Jus, the Giradiniera and the Bread. And that's all you need!
Here's a Handy Dandy Video showing ya the process too!
For this I'm using Yuba, or Soy Skin as it's also known. I found mine at Whole Foods but it was a bit pricier than if you find it at an Asian Market. Just look in the freezer section for Yuba or Soy Skin, it'll come in giant sheets that you will unfold. You'll have to rehydrate it in some water, then you can just cut or tear it into strips.
You can also use Soy Curls which are super easy to work with and are relatively inexpensive. Here's a LINK to Butler Foods if you wanna order some!
Honestly, any of your favorite vegan beef replacements should be fine!
Giardiniera is a pickled vegetable condiment, typically a little spicy. You can get some from the store, or if you want to make yours from scratch, we can do that too! It does take a few days for the pickling process, but it's totally worth it! The recipe we are doing is heavily adapted from Brian Lagerstrom's on YouTube!
For the roll, you want a good French Bread, preferably something from your local bakery. You want something with a soft interior, and a good crust on the oustide so it doesn't fall apart from all the Jus. You don't want a baguette, but a good French Bread! But use whatever you can get your hands on!
The Jus is really simple to make! I recommend the Better Than Boullion Beefless Broth, but use veggie broth if you can't get that stuff. Feel free to drizzle on as much on your sandwich as you like, or you can even dunk the whole thing in there! I actually dipped mine like a French Dip!
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Makes about 4 Sandwiches (or 2 really big ones) and lots of Giardiniera
4 French bread rolls
10 oz. rehydrated Yuba (or equivalent vegan beef)
3 cups Beefless Broth (I used THIS stuff)
1 tsp Worcestershire (vegan)
2 Tbsp mushroom seasoning
2 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
(adapted from Brian Lagerstrom)
150 grams each of cauliflower, celery, green bell pepper, carrots, and serrano peppers. Use 75 grams of serrano for less spicy.
1 3/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
2 cup soybean oil (or use olive oil)
To make the Giardiniera, chop up your veggies as fine as you like them.
Add the vinegar, water, salt, oregano and chili flakes to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the veggies and then turn off the heat. Allow to come to room temperature.
Once veggies and brine have cooled add them to a jar and refrigerate for 2 days.
Strain the veggies and then add back to a jar and cover with the oil. Store in the fridge for another 2 days, then it'll be ready for use!
If you are using rehydrated Yuba, simply unfold and peel the sheets. Then rip or cut them into shreds. If using dried Yuba, rehydrate according to package instructions and then rip or cut into shreds.
To make the Jus, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Add the Jus and Yuba to a pan and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for 30 minutes or until Yuba has darkened and absorbed the flavor of the Jus.
Split your French Roll down the middle, keeping a hinge, and then pile up your vegan beef, followed by the Giardiniera and then drizzle on more Jus if you like! I had a small side of the Jus for dipping which I really liked!