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Combos, the classic Chicago sandwich of Italian sausage and Italian beef, can be made and held for a crowd in the slow-cooker. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Years back, I came across a recipe for Chicago-style Italian beef from Guy Fieri. First off, I won't profess to have an affinity for the guy. Plus, as a native Chicagoan, I was a bit skeptical. You know what, though? I was proved wrong.

Since that time, I've gone back to that recipe again and again, adapting it based on what I have in the kitchen.

Here, in a full-on take, is the ubiquitous combo in slow-cooker form: a hefty Italian sausage and Italian beef sandwich, tucked in crusty bread, soaked with heady jus and topped with hot giardinera. It's heaven in a bun, and about as good as any version I've had around town.

(In other words, don't doubt a guy just because he has goofy hair.)

About the author: Jennifer Olvera is a veteran food and travel writer and author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago." Follow her on Twitter @olverajennifer.

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