For the Balsamic Barbecue Sauce:
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark amber maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1/3 palmful coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 cup beef or chicken stock
- 1 1/2-2 pounds sliced Italian roast beef (substitute thick-sliced deli beef when leftovers are not available)
- 4 crusty Italian sub rolls or chunks of ciabatta bread
- 1 cup giardiniera (Italian hot pickled vegetables), drained and chopped
For the salad:
- 2 cups arugula or watercress leaves, chopped
- 4 balls bocconcini, quartered
- 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn or chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all of the ingredients for the barbecue sauce in small pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook until thickened, about 30 minutes. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator for a make-ahead meal.
Reheat the sauce over medium-low heat to warm.
Heat the stock in a skillet over medium heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to low, add the roast beef and simmer until the meat is warmed through but not dried out. When the liquids have just about evaporated, pour the barbecue sauce over the meat and stir gently to combine.
Lightly toast or warm the bread. Pile the barbecue meat into the sub rolls and top with pickled chopped vegetables.
Add the arugula, cheese, tomatoes and basil to a medium size salad bowl. Douse with EVOO and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to combine and serve with the beef sandwiches.