So, what’s Italian beef? A Chicago classic, a U.S. Midwestern favorite. Scraps of meat are slow simmered in au jus, served in a hearty roll, and topped with hot giadiniera, a Chicago-style relish of spicy peppers and pickled vegetables.
It’s not the type of sandwich you eat on a first date. While you’re eating it, the bread gets soggy, juice runs down your hands and some of the insides fall out. It is definitely the type of sandwich you eat with loved ones!
This easy vegan Italian beef recipe combines shredded young jackfruit and thinly sliced seitan to create an unforgettable texture. Together, they are magical. The super savory au jus is loaded with red miso, reduced sodium soy sauce, onions, garlic, and Italian herbs and spices. I’m psyched for you to try it loaded up on a hoagie bun or roll!
On the U.S.’s West Coast, I have had a hard time finding hot giardiniera. If push comes to shove, I would recommend going online to order it, or making your own from scratch.
You can also opt for mild giardiniera. It is much easier to find at most grocery stores in the U.S., regardless of coast. It isn’t Chicago-style, and it isn’t the same as the hot stuff, but it is still good.
Whether using hot or mild giardiniera, I prefer it packed in oil, rather than packed in water and vinegar. Nevertheless, either variety will work for this vegan Italian beef recipe.
If you aren’t into giardiniera, you can still make this recipe. Some people like Italian beef topped with pepperoncini. Other people don’t top it with anything at all. It’s all a matter of preference, but I am of the school that the condiment adds something to the mix.
So, load up a hoagie bun with vegan Italian beef, add an extra bit of the rich broth, top it generously with giardiniera, and enjoy!
Slow Cooker Vegan Italian Beef
1 medium onion, thinly sliced into crescents
10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
Black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil (OR 2 Tbsp oil from the giardiniera)
¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
3 cups water
1 ½ Tbsp red miso
14 ounce can of young jackfruit packed in water, drained and shredded (I used Native Forest Young Jackfruit)
16 ounce jar of giardiniera (hot or mild) packed in oil, to top (see note above)
8 hoagie buns
1. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, add onions, garlic, black pepper, and oil. Sauté over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent or for ~7 minutes. Add reduced sodium soy sauce, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and onion powder. Sauté for another 3 minutes.
2. Add water and red miso. Simmer for 3 minutes, and then, taste. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Maybe more red pepper flakes? Maybe a little more soy sauce?
3. Add jackfruit and seitan to the slow cooker. Pour of the entire contents of the pot or dutch oven over the jackfruit/seitan. Combine. Secure the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours. Serve on hoagie buns, drizzle with some au jus and top with giardiniera.