Chicago-Style Pulled Beef Sandwiches
“The great city of Chicago in the heart of the U.S.A. is known for its food. The famous Italian beef sandwiches were created to meet the demands of Italian families during the Great Depression who wanted to stretch their dollars while still enjoying meat. Meat was thinly sliced and served on bread rolls in response to those demands. Though the exact origins are somewhat debatable, everyone agrees that it’s still one of the most popular sandwiches in the city.” – Yvonne
• 1 kg boneless bottom round beef (in one whole piece)
• 30 ml olive oil
• 250 g yellow onions, thinly sliced
• 2.5 g black pepper
• 20 g garlic cloves, minced
• 425 g gardiniera (or a mix of chopped celery, cauliflower, and Spanish olives in oil)
• 6 Hoagie rolls or French bread rolls cut in half and opened
1. Dry the meat thoroughly and bring to room temperature before cooking. Dry meat browns nicely. When it is brought to room temperature as opposed to being put in a hot pan when cold, it will have less of a tendency to stick to the pan and tear.
2. In a large, deep pan such as a Dutch oven, heat the the oil over a medium flame. Add the meat and brown on all slides, about five minutes each side.
3. Add the onions directly to the pot and sauté until nicely browned and translucent.
4. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and gardiniera. Cook for five minutes then cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 3 hours.
5. Check on the meat, which should easily pull apart with a fork. Take it out of the pot and onto a cutting board. Cover and let it rest for about ten minutes.
7. Uncover the meat and slice the entire piece thinly, lengthwise, or pull apart gently with a fork.
8. Bring all the meat back to the pot. Stir and keep it warm until ready to serve.
9. Warm the bread in an oven or toaster. Use tongs to grab the meat and place a generous amount inside of each roll and serve.
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
“BBQ is a tradition in the Southern area of the United States, a place that you will find almost everything being grilled or smoked. Pulled Chicken sandwiches with French fries and ice cold lemonade are Southern favourites, especially on a hot summer day. To save time in the kitchen you can make the marinade and sauce ahead of time and use them when needed.” – Noor
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp chilli powder
• ¾tsp ground cumin
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
• ¼ tsp ground ginger
• 500 g/ about 2 portions skinless, boneless chicken breasts
• Cooking spray
• 2 tsp vegetable oil
• ½ cup finely chopped onion
• 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
• 1 tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• ½ tsp dry mustard
• ½ tsp ground all-spice
• ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 cup ketchup
• 2 tbsp cider vinegar
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 4 sandwich rolls/ 8 mini slider buns, toasted lightly
• Dill pickle chips
1. In a large bowl, combine oil and spices for the marinade. Add chicken to the bowl and rub spice mixture evenly over it. Marinade for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Cover and grill chicken for 15 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 180°C. Turn occasionally. Let stand for 5 minutes. Place chicken on a cutting board and shred meat with two forks.
3. To prepare sauce, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in brown sugar and all-spice. Cook for 30 seconds. Stir in ketchup and vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in the shredded chicken. Cook for 2 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.
5. Place desired amount of chicken mixture on bottom halves of sandwich rolls and a few tablespoons of sauce. Top each serving with 2 pickle chips and top with bread roll half. Serve.
Mushroom Oregano Sandwich
“Whether it is for breakfast, lunch, or simply a midday snack, sandwiches are your go-to item. They are convenient to pack as your kids’ lunch or even as picnic food. This recipe is for a stuffed sandwich, filled with delicacies such as mushroom, onions, tomatoes and finally garnished with sweet-smelling oregano.” – Kanika
• 8 bread slices (white bread is better for presentation but brown is definitely healthier)
• 2 tbsp butter
• 2 tsp plain flour
• ¼ cup chopped onions
• 1 finely chopped green chilli
• ½ cup finely chopped mushrooms
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Start off by heating 1 tbsp butter in a pan and sauté onions in it until they are whitish-golden in colour.
2. Next, add chilli and plain flour to the onion mix and continue to fry it.
3. After about 30 seconds, add mushrooms, oregano, salt and pepper to the mix and cook well on medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Mushrooms should be extremely soft at the end of this process.
4. Trim away the edges of the bread slices and cut each slice into 2 equal rectangles.
5. Toast each slice till it is golden brown on a flat pan or oven.
6. Spread butter on one side of each slice.
7. Spread the filling uniformly on the buttered side and close it up in with another slice of bread. Finish off with a garnish of parsley and tomatoes and serve immediately. Or, pack it away in lunch boxes to enjoy later.
“A Gatsby is a traditional and popular Cape Town fast food sandwich. It’s a family size sandwich using a wide French loaf bread/baguette. The sandwich does not have a definitive recipe as it uses a broad range of available sauces, fillings. This is messy finger food of the best kind. Salads are optional as this is not the best example of healthy food.” – Fatima
• 1 wide French loaf bread/baguette, cut diagonally
• 200g cooked steak, chicken or sausage
• 100g sliced cold meats
• 300g freshly fried, potato chips, seasoned
• 5 tbsp tomato sauce
• 5 tbsp mustard sauce
• 5 tbsp mayonnaise
• 5 tbsp peri peri sauce
• ¼ tsp red chilli powder
• 2 tsp white vinegar
• Butter for spreading
• 100g grated cheese (optional)
1. Butter the bread on both sides.
2. In a small bowl, combine your tomato sauce, mustard sauce, mayonnaise, peri peri sauce, vinegar, chilli powder and vinegar. Mix well.
3. Spread half of the sauce on the bottom layer of your baguette.
4. Layer the beef, chicken or sausage on top of the sauce.
5. Now add the chips, also in a single layer.
6. Add the cheese.
7. Smear the top layer of your baguette with the remaining sauce.
8. Wrap your prepared loaf in foil (those oven bags made for chicken etc. work very well too).
9. Put it in 180°C oven to warm through or until cheese melts nicely.
10. Cut into broad slices and dig in.
Yvonne Maffei is a food writer, recipe developer and culinary consultant at MyHalalKitchen.com.
Kanika Aggarwal has a diploma in Indian cooking and can be contacted via www.learnindiancooking.com.
Fatima Shah is a wife, mother of two and avid foodie. She dreams of having a fully halal cordon bleu restaurant one day.
Noor AlQahtani is a freelance food writer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and creator of www.yasalamcooking.com, a Middle Eastern cuisine website with more than 500 recipes.