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Can I season and cook a pot roast to make Chicago-style Italian beef?

Big Bad Voodoo Lou Jun 7, 2011 01:35 PM

I bought a pot roast two days ago, before I had a recipe in mind. I forget the exact cut, but it was specifically labeled as "for pot roast," and I know it isn't a chuck roast.

I've had Chicago-style Italian beef on my mind, and wonder if I could season the pot roast and cook it the right way to make it come out like Italian beef, juice and all.

However, if the pot roast cut is completely wrong for Italian beef, I'll just use this recipe from the Pioneer Woman:


Also, I have a stainless steel Cuisinart pot I was planning to use in the oven, but will the glass lid be oven-safe? I'd hate to ruin the food or the lid. If not, can I just cover it tightly with aluminum foil?

  1. s
    starkoch Jun 7, 2011 02:29 PM

    I used a pot roast in a recipe I have that's very similar to PW's. I used my Italian beef spices and simmered it on the stove top in a heavy bottom pot.
    It won't slice as nicely but the flavor should be great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: starkoch
      Big Bad Voodoo Lou Jun 7, 2011 03:02 PM

      Oh, so you simmered it on the stove the whole time, rather than transferring it to the oven, pot and all?

    2. b
      Big Bad Voodoo Lou Jun 7, 2011 08:39 PM

      Oh, it was a top blade roast.

      1. todao Jun 7, 2011 09:55 PM

        A "roast" is simply a thick cut of meat. Roasts do very well in the oven (roasting or oven braised) or in a cooking vessel with very little liquid and slow cooked (braised - pot roasted) for a long period of time to break down the collagen. A tender cut of meat dry roasts quite well, whereas a tougher cut is best suited to braising. A rump roast, which is typically used in Chicago style Italian beef, is cut from well used muscles in the butchered animal and is therefore less tender than a cut of meat from lesser used muscles like the loin. Your "pot roast" will work fine for Italian beef, but you should probably braise it to ensure a tender result.

        Low and slow is the way to go. The internal temperature of your roast will have to reach somewhere around 160 degrees (or a little more) to melt the collagen.

        1. Jay F Jun 8, 2011 08:53 AM

          What is "Chicago style" Italian pot roast?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jay F
            Big Bad Voodoo Lou Jun 8, 2011 10:53 AM

            I don't think it's usually made with pot roast, but Italian beef is a really tasty, spicy, juicy, messy, well-seasoned sandwich that is always associated with Chicago food.


            Kind of like a French dip sandwich, but a million times better.

            1. re: starkoch
              Jay F Jun 10, 2011 07:16 AM

              Those both look delicious. thanks, Lou and Starkoch.

              And you too, master815.

            2. m
              master815k Jun 8, 2011 10:15 AM

              I make the sandwiches all the time with a bottom round roast. A cup of beef broth and some Italian spices, either in the crock pot or braised on the stove till it falls apart. Delish!

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