Slow-Cooker Chicago-Style Italian Beef and Sausage Combos Recipe

Slow-Cooker Chicago-Style Italian Beef and Sausage Combos Recipe

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.)

  • Yield:Serves 6
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:4 hours


  • 6 hot Italian sausage links
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds thinly sliced, Italian beef deli meat (such as Vienna or Scala's), or regular deli roast beef
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, very thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups of beef broth
  • 11/2 cups red wine
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Loaf of French bread, cut into six pieces
  • Jar of hot giardiniera


  1. 1.

    Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place sausage in pan and brown on all sides. Transfer meat to the bowl of a slow-cooker. Add Italian beef, onions, red peppers, garlic, cayenne, paprika, oregano, chili flakes, bay leaves, beef broth, red wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine, cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

  2. 2.

    To serve, tuck an Italian sausage link, mound of Italian beef and generous drizzle of jus into bread and top with giardiniera. (Or, if you want to be authentic, quickly dunk the bread in jus before filling it up.)