It is time to celebrate some of the best things about Chicago including the beloved Chicago-style hot-dog, Italian Beef sandwich, the classic gyro, and Sara Lee® Premium Meats.

You know you are from Chicago if you know to never ask for ketchup on your hot dog, you know where to find the best Italian Beef, and you know that there are really only two seasons: Winter and Construction.
Having lived in the Chicagoland area nearly my entire life, it has been fun to learn about and support our hometown brands; brands that call Chicago home, and play an important role in our communities.
I am honored to have partnered with Sara Lee® Premium Meats once again to share incredible Chicago inspired sandwiches with you. Sara Lee® Premium Meats is locally loved and enjoyed by millions. It is the best choice for premium deli meats at the grocery store. Not only are you able to get meats sliced-to-order at the deli counter, but you can also get them freshly sliced, ready to grab & go in the deli cooler.
Today I will be sharing three sandwiches that are not only super delicious, but they also incorporate our beloved hometown brand, Sara Lee® Premium Meats, and give a little wink and a nod to Chicago and some of the foods that our city is best known for.
What I love about Sara Lee® Premium Meats is that they are consistently fresh and delicious, and a product that I feel good about sharing with my family because they are made with high-quality cuts of meats and ingredients.
Chicago-Style Ham Sandwich
If you are from Chicago, you know which ingredients go on a Chicago-Style Hot Dog. For starters, it is never ketchup! On a Chicago-Style hot dog, you will find onion, sweet pickle relish, tomato slices, yellow mustard, pickled sport peppers, a dash of celery salt, and a dill pickle spear.

I decided to put a fun twist on this Chicago classic and make a Chicago-Style Ham Sandwich.
To make this sandwich, you will start with Sara Lee® Honey Ham and top it with all of the ingredients that you’d typically find on a Chicago-Style Hot Dog.  Don’t forget the sprinkle of celery salt, it’s the perfect addition to this ham sandwich. Use any sandwich roll that you’d like, or even a poppy seed sandwich roll if you can find them.

The result? A delicious Chicago-Style Ham Sandwich that is everything a ham sandwich should be and tastes so similar to the beloved Chicago-Style Hot Dog. I love the combination of ham and mustard and with all of the other fun toppings, especially the pickled sport peppers, it is so satisfying.
Beef and Cheddar Croissant / Italian Beef Sandwich
While the Italian Beef Sandwich is a Chicago legend, The Beef and Cheddar Croissant is also a popular favorite. To make this sandwich you will start by making seasoned beef stock. I grew up calling it Italian Beef “juice.” Some people call it gravy. The gravy is what you will use to heat your meat. Once you’ve made your seasoned stock, you’ll add in Sara Lee® Angus Medium Roast Beef. Make sure you keep the burner on medium-low heat. You don’t want the liquid to be boiling. The goal is to gently heat the roast beef.
*Pro-tip: If you are getting your meat sliced to order, ask for it to be sliced extra thin.

To assemble your beef and cheddar croissant, add slices of heated roast beef on a croissant and top with prepared cheddar cheese sauce. If you don’t want to use cheddar cheese sauce, you can opt for slices of cheddar cheese or shredded cheddar instead. To assemble an Italian Beef sandwich, start with a sliced Italian Bread roll, add slices of heated roast beef and then top with either sweet peppers or my personal favorite, giardiniera. While this is a simple sandwich, do not underestimate its deliciousness! You can even add spoonfuls of juice/gravy on top of the sandwich to make it extra delicious, or dip the entire sandwich in the gravy. In Chicago, this is called a “dipped” Italian Beef or a “Wet” Italian Beef.
Turkey Gyro Sandwich
If you are from Chicago, you know that while a gyro is not unique to Chicago, it is an important part of Chicago’s identity, especially if you visit Greektown! With that in mind, I decided to make a Turkey Gyro Sandwich.

To make this sandwich you will start with Sara Lee® Oven Roasted Turkey Breast. Then you will add creamy tzatziki sauce, raw onion, and tomato wedges on a pita. It is simple, yet so flavorful and satisfying. Sprinkle a bit of Italian seasoning on top for an extra flavor boost. I personally like this one served cold, but you could also heat it in the oven for a toasted turkey gyro sandwich.

Look at all of this incredible deliciousness! With so many tasty options, it will be hard to decide which sandwich to enjoy first.

During these unusual times that 2020 has presented us with, I have found myself eating at home more often, and looking for small but impactful ways to help my community. Sara Lee® Premium Meats has partnered with the Northern Illinois Food Bank which means that your purchase of Sara Lee® Premium Deli Meats will help feed our neighbors.  We are all in this together!
I hope you enjoy these fun sandwiches inspired by some of the most iconic Chicago foods and made possible by our hometown brand, Sara Lee® Premium Meats! Their premium deli meats are readily available at your grocer’s deli counter but also freshly sliced ready to grab & go in the deli cooler. Not only are the premium meats fresh and delicious, they are also affordable. Sara Lee® Premium Meats is my go-to brand!

If you try these sandwiches, and I hope you do, please don’t forget to tag @CenterCutCook and #SaraLeePremiumMeats on social media.
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Center Cut Cook

Chicago Style Sandwiches

By Ashley Wagner