FX’s latest show The Bear might have been labelled a comedy-drama, but on behalf of hospitality workers everywhere (ex and current) we’re petitioning for it to be categorized under “psychological thriller”. “Horror” works too.
The Bear is almost too realistic in its depictions of back-of-house, both in politics and relationship dynamics. The silver lining between all the colourful chaos and claustrophobia is the series’ crowning jewel: Chef Carmy’s Italian Beef Sandwich.
With Carmy’s low and slow cooking techniques, the sandwich’s fall-apart chuck roast has a deep flavour, enriched by supporting cast members such as the beautifully crusted bread roll that’s soft and pillowy on the inside, and the Italian pickles that provide the perfect tang.
What you need
2 kg chuck roast
4 cloves garlic
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 onions, quartered
1L beef stock
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. paprika
Salt & pepper
½ cup neutral oil
4 bread rolls
1 cup Giardiniera, roughly chopped
Season the chuck roast really well all around with salt and pepper. In a large oven-safe pot, heat up some neutral oil on medium to high-heat and sear the chuck roast on all sides. Remove.
Add the garlic, carrot, celery and onion to the pot (you do not need to peel these). Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables have charred edges.
Deglaze the pot with the beef stock (leaving the vegetables in there), then add the Worcestershire, herbs and paprika. Add the chuck roast back into the pot. Put a lid on it.
Move the pot into a preheated oven at 170 degrees Celsius for about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat is 60 degrees Celsius. Remove from the oven.
Remove the hot chuck roast from the pot then carefully, tightly wrap it in a few layers of cling wrap so that the roast doesn’t lose any moisture. Pop it into the fridge for a few hours. This needs to cool before we can thinly slice it.
Meanwhile, scoop out any solid bits from the remaining jus, or pass it through a fine sieve. Heat up the jus on the stove until it has reduced about 25% and season to taste.
Once beef is ready, slice it as thinly as possible with a sharp knife – or better yet, a deli slicer (because we all have one of those handy in our kitchen!) and set aside.
To assemble, slice your bread rolls in half, grab a large pile of the sliced beef and dunk it in the jus liberally before topping on your sandwich. It should be well and truly WET. Top this with a few tbsp. of giardiniera.
Wrap the sandwich tightly in parchment paper. Enjoy, chef!
✨ RECIPE NOTES ✨
- GIARDINIERA: Also known as Italian pickles. Full disclosure, we cheated here and used store bought pickles instead. Unfortunately we got what we paid for – because it was a little TOO salty and acidic for our liking! We rinsed the brine off the giardiniera before chopping it up for our sandwiches. Taste yours before doing the same if needed. If you’re not lazy like us, you can instead make your own! We recommend this one by NYT Cooking: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12291-giardiniera
- THE BEAR: If you watched The Bear for the plot, and “the plot” was delicious looking chefs making delicious looking things, we’ve got some great recommendations for you! Here’s what to watch next:
- Burnt: A brilliant, tortured Michelin chef suffers a fall from grace, and moves to London in an adventure to resurrect his career. Starring Bradley Cooper, Daniel Bruhl and Sienna Miller, Burnt is available to watch now on Amazon Prime.
- Uncorked: A young man upsets his father when he pursues his dream of becoming a master sommelier instead of joining the family barbecue business. Starring Mamoudou Athie and Courtney B Vance, Uncorked is available to watch now on Netflix.
- Boiling Point: On the busiest night of the year at one of the hottest restaurants in London, a head chef balances along a knife’s edge as multiple personal and professional crises threaten to destroy everything he’s worked for. Starring Stephen Graham and Hannah Walters, Boiling Point is available to watch now on Amazon Prime.
- Chef: After losing his job at a popular restaurant, Chef Carl Casper attempts to start afresh by fixing up a food truck. In the process, he ends up becoming closer to his family. Starring Jon Favreau and Sofia Vegara, Chef is available to watch now on Stan.
- Ratatouille: Remy, a rat, aspires to become a renowned French chef. However, he fails to realise that people despise rodents and will never enjoy a meal cooked by him. Starring Patton Oswalt and Lou Romano, Ratatouille is available to watch now on Disney Plus.