Beef up game-day grub with Chicago-style sandwiches and spicy tacos

This Sunday, the Chicago Bears are facing off against the Los Angeles Chargers. To celebrate the exciting matchup, pitmaster Erica Blaire Roby is cooking up two beefy meals for our TODAY Food Loves Football series. Inspired by the Bears, Roby is making a classic Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich with giardinera, and in honor of the Chargers, she shows us how to prepare spicy, beer-braised beef tacos with crunchy coleslaw.

Beer-Braised Spicy Beef Tacos by Erica Blaire Roby

Get ready for some seriously delicious handheld tailgating fun with a dish that's a flavor touchdown! These beer-braised spicy beef tacos add an exciting twist to classic taco-inspired goodness, making them the ultimate game-day grub that'll transport your taste buds south of the border.

Now, let's talk beer: It's a game-changer in this recipe and something you're sure to have stocked in your fridge for football Sunday. Because this is a Mexican-inspired recipe, I recommend opting for your favorite import or cerveza for that refreshing kick, but feel free to use your beer of choice. Want a milder flavor? Go for a lighter brew. Craving some extra oomph? A darker beer is your play. And as a bonus, whatever you use in your beef is perfect for drinking alongside the finished product!

Don't forget to pile on the coleslaw. The coolness and crunch of it will help balance the spiciness and smokiness of the beef. Top it all off with plenty of lime juice, red onion, chopped fresh cilantro and crumbled queso or sour cream for the ultimate flavor combination that'll have everyone cheering for more.

Chicago-Style Italian Beef Sandwiches by Erica Blaire Roby

When it's time to cheer on the Bears, there's no better companion than Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches. These sandwiches feature thinly sliced deli roast beef, bathed in a savory broth that infuses every bite with the bold flavors of Chicago. The result is a gameday delight that captures the essence of the Windy City's culinary tradition.

What really elevates these sandwiches is the crunchy giardiniera, a spicy and tangy mix of chopped vegetables and jalapeños. This vibrant condiment adds a kick of heat and a burst of zesty flavors, creating a perfect contrast to the savory richness of the beef and broth.

These Italian beef sandwiches are not only a delicious game-day option, but also a great hand-held dish for any casual get-together. The best part is that they come together in under 45 minutes, making them a quick and satisfying choice for busy sports enthusiasts. And these sandwiches make fantastic leftovers if you keep the ingredients separate to assemble later.

If you like those great game-day recipes, you should also try these:

Cheesesteak Pinwheels by Andrew Rea

Bob Armstrong Chile con Queso by Rick Martínez

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