Chicago style Italian beef
In the NY area you can get all manners of Italian food. Alas for me it's not really like the Italian food of Chicago, or at least you can't get the classic Chicago style Italian beef sandwich. However I found a jar of hot giardinera at the grocery store that's a passable imitation of the real thing with olives, hot peppers, cauliflower, celery, and carrots in olive oil. It mostly does the job though it's heavy on the peppers and light on the other ingredients so I have to fix it by adding some. (I should probably make my own.)
Nonetheless, I've introduced some friends to the joys of:
1 lb shaved roast beef
9-12 slices of provolone
1/2 cup hot giardinera
1 loaf of fresh baguette
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
2 cloves garlic
Simmer the roast beef in the oil from the giardinera, herbs, garlic and beef stock. In true Chicago style you should do this low and slow until the roast beef falls apart but I usually don't go more than about fifteen minutes. If the beef isn't in small enough pieces, tear it up before simmering. Let the beef stock reduce by a third, or so. Cut the baguette in three pieces, split open and put provolone slices on each. Put these under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. On a plate, add the beef and plenty of the juice. This is definitely a "fork and knife" sandwich.
By the way, the oil from hot giardinera is really good on bread.