Here is my Chicago Italian Beef Pull-Apart Ring that I entered in last month's Super Bowl throwdown. There's a lot of pictures so I'll try to keep it as compact as possible. This was my first time participating in a throwdown, and it was sure a lot of fun. I never expected a win or even a strong showing with all the members who put out great posts on a weekly basis. Thank you, and let's get right to it.
First, I made a homemade giardiniera because that is the crux of what an Italian roast beef sandwich is. I did this a week prior so that all the flavors would have time to pickle, marinate and mingle. Finely chopped cauliflower, carrots, celery, jalapenos, serrano and a red bell pepper were brined overnight in an 8% salt solution. This was the weight of the vegetables and the water x .08. The salt was weighed out, mixed in with everything else and put in the refrigerator.
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The next day the vegetables were drained and rinsed off for any residual salt. After that the giardiniera vegetables were mixed with 1 cup of white vinegar and 1.5 cups of oil (I used a mix of light EVOO and Canola so the mixture wouldn't get too cloudy in the fridge) along with garlic, dried oregano, celery seed, hot pepper flakes, black pepper and a handful of Castelvetrano olives because I like them. Note that no extra salt is added after brining. Here's a picture of the finished giardiniera. This must be refrigerated.
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Since the SuperBowl Throwdown must include a smoked item, I broke from tradition here and decided to use a chuck roast instead. My idea was to have this be more of a finger food appetizer than a full blown sandwich. Plus it's not messy if you were to be eating this on your couch watching the game.
The Chicago Rub
3T Kosher salt
2T Black pepper
3tsp. Garlic powder
3tsp. Onion powder
2tsp. Dried oregano
2tsp. Dried basil
2tsp. Cracked fennel seed
1tsp. Hot pepper flakes
2 tsp. Dill
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Chuck roast into the smoker and the start of the au jus.
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The chuck roast prior to wrapping. The other chuck roast was used to make some taco meat to portion and freeze, might as well utilize the space if I'm going to smoke.
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The au jus was strained and placed in another foil pan with the chuck roast. Covered and cooked until the meat probed tender.
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Here's the finished chuck roast. The au jus was strained again and reduced down with a bit of red wine (forgot to take pictures of that process).
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Now that all the ingredients that go into this dish are finished, it's time to assemble the pull-apart ring. Start by taking two containers of crescent rolls and line them up so that the ends are facing outward, almost like a starburst pattern. Once that is done, add your shredded cheese. I shredded a block of sharp provolone in my food processor for this.
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Top with the shredded chuck roast and giardiniera.
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Fold the point over towards the middle to close off the ring. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and bake at 375F until the crust is golden brown about 22-25 minutes.
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Here's the ring fresh out of the oven.
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A couple of other attempts for the Throwdown entry.
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And enjoy with a dip in some of that au jus!!
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I was very pleased with how this came out and it was pretty delicious too! I opted for the crescent rolls over a traditional pizza/stromboli dough because I wanted it to be more of a pull apart and fall apart dish because the traditional sandwiches can be messy. So I wanted to loosely mimic that...but everything held up surprisingly well, so that was nice. Well thanks for looking and have a good rest of the weekend. Thanks again.