Alright, so I had some seitan in the fridge that was just begging me to be used, and I wanted to try something different with it. I usually will incorporate it into a stir-fry or a tofu scramble, but I wanted to make something where it would be a “meat” stand-in, since my fiancé has now officially been “vegetarian” for 5 weeks now, and he was craving the meat! So, he loves Italian Beef Sandwiches. I know that one of my favorite restaurants makes an awesome Italian Beef sandwich using seitan, so I started scrambling the web to find a good recipe, when I happened along this one on www.vegweb.com. Let me just say, that this sandwich recipe has my personal stamp of approval…because not only was it delicious, but it is SOOOO Simple!!! You just toss everything into a slow-cooker and forget about it!
Chicago-Style Italian "Beef" Sandwiches
1 pound seitan, very thinly sliced
3 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2 tablespoons Hot Italian Giardiniera (if you can't find it, substitute 1/2 teaspoon red
pepper flakes, for heat)
2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 sliced and seeded green bell peppers
Combine all ingredients and stir to incorporate. Cook on HIGH for 2 to 4 hours.
If using a stovetop: Place all ingredients in a large pot, stir to combine, and simmer, covered, over medium heat for 1 hour.
Lightly steam French rolls. Spoon seitan and peppers into each roll. Just before serving, spoon a few tablespoons of the "au jus" over each sandwich to somewhat saturate the roll. (In the best Chicago sandwich joints, they simply dunk the whole sandwich!)
(Photo credit to Opal_Moon on www.vegweb.com)