By the middle of winter, a testing one to be sure, any televised sporting event is an excuse to sit down in your local igloo and fire up a warm dish. Whether you are a football fan, basketball fan or run reruns of women’s Olympic sand volleyball matches on a continuous loop, we have a recipe for you.
This class of recipe is the no-brain-easy-assemblage-with-no-redeeming-nutritional-value type recipe. On the plus side, its very good eating and works very well for a group of people where the cholesterol content can be split among many.
Italian Beef/Sausage Pinwheel
1 roll pizza crust (thin crust works well; thick crust holds more poundage better)
Approx. 1 to 1-1/2” lbs. of Italian beef with au jus
Approx. 1 to 1-1/2” lbs. of Italian sausage (get the bulk ground sausage; hot or sweet your choice)
1 lb. of shredded cheese (Mozzarella, I would suggest the skim milk kind but who am I kidding – use what you like)
Giardiniera (Go hot – it’s wintertime. If you’re weak and morally questionable, mild will do. )
1. Cook the Beef (save the au jus for dipping)
2. Cook the Sausage (If links slice them to 1/8” thick pieces, if ground keep it broke up as small as possible – makes it easier to roll)
3. Roll out the pizza crust on a non-stick pan ( spray down an oversized sheet of aluminum foil with spray oil. This makes it easier to roll without having the sides of the pan in the way. Fold up the sides of the foil to “make” a pan to keep any juices from running out and into the oven)
4. Add a layer of cheese (about half of the cheese) on the crust (try to keep
all layers of cheese and meat about ½” to 1” from all edges of the crust
so you have room to roll & “seal” without stuff falling out. )
5. Add a layer of beef (all of it)
6. Add a layer of sausage (all of it)
7. Add giardiniera (and/or pepperoncini, banana peppers, jalapenos,
habaneros are all welcome to join)
8. Add a second layer of cheese
9. Roll the crust like you would roll up a tarpaulin. It’s going to be a large
rolled football size thing. Keep it as tightly as you can without ripping it. Cooking tip:
If you have sturdy foil you can use it like one of the “cigarette rolling
machines” to pull an even wrap. Make sure to end with the tag
end/seam on the bottom and then fold the two ends underneath.
10. Poke a few fork holes in the top so you don’t have a blow out. Cook the football
for however long the crust instructions call for (usually 15-17 minutes) or until the
crust is golden brown on top.
11. You can give the top a nice egg wash to give it a pretzel bread look. If the game is at
hand or this seems to effete, never mind this add-on step.
12. Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting (slices hold together much better if they
are 1-1/2” to 2” wide and don’t cut them in half lengthwise (you lose the pinwheel
13. Grab a slice, dip it in the au jus that you saved, drink your favorite beverage. If you
have any left over spaghetti sauce, you can use that as your dip as well.
Additional Suggestions: You can also add chopped onions, mushrooms, olives and green peppers to the filling. It’s in concept a pizza with the crust on the outside.
Thanks to Dave M. of Wilmette, Ill for this great recipe.
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