Italian Beef

March 22, 2010 · 15 comments

in beef,burgers and sandwiches,crockpot

A post about Italian beef sandwiches was one of my first posts ever on this blog – back when its only reader was, well, probably me.  Since the post lacked an actual recipe (in terms of measuring ingredients) and picture, I thought I’d take some time to repost a meal that’s incredibly easy to make, and also delicious.  It is especially delicious, in my opinion, when topped with hot peppers/giardiniera from Potbelly.  I don’t want to point any fingers or start any lawsuits, but I’m fairly certain that Potbelly’s hot peppers are laced with crack.  They have to be; otherwise, I would have some semblance of control when eating them.

Italian beef is a very common sandwich in Chicago, said to have originated here.  It’s thinly sliced roast beef, usually served with giardiniera (or sweet peppers, if you want) on a roll.  You can just have them put just the beef on there, you can have them spoon some of the meat juices on there, or you can even request it dipped, which means dunking the whole thing in the meat juices.  That is definitely the sloppiest way to eat it, but also the most tasty in my opinion.  I didn’t want to take a picture of a very soggy sandwich but rest assured that I served myself a little cup of juice on the side of this and slowly drenched my sandwich in it as I was eating it.

I was working from home the day I made this, so I didn’t start the beef until about 1:00 p.m. I wanted to slice it (even though I could never get those paper-thin slices) rather than shred it.  That said, I usually just let this cook all day and shred when I get  home to make it an easy weeknight meal.

Slowcooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

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2.5 lb. boneless beef roast (preferably one that is lean and without a ton of fat, as you don’t want your broth and beef to be greasy)
a little olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef broth
2.5 tsp. dried oregano
1. 5 tsp. dried basil
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt and fresh pepper
rolls and giardiniera for serving

Season the roast liberally with kosher salt and pepper.  Add a little olive oil to a large, heavy bottomed skillet and heat it over medium to medium-high heat.  Add the roast and brown on all sides.  Remove and place in the slowcooker.

To the pan, add the garlic and stir just until fragrant – about 30 seconds.  Add the broth, herbs, Worcestershire, a little salt if necessary (depending how salty your broth is) and some freshly ground pepper (about 1/2 tsp).  Scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan, and then pour the mixture over the roast in the slowcooker.  Cook on low for about 4  hours (longer if you prefer the beef to fall apart vs. being sliced).  Slice and then place back in the juices for another half hour or so.

Serve on Italian rolls, topped with hot (or sweet) peppers.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

ashley March 22, 2010 at 9:29 am

mmmm delicious! looks so good!

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themilkmanswife March 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm

YES! Potbelly hot peppers ARE laced with crack. I don’t know what it is about them but I love those things. The perfect topping for a great looking sandwich! YUM!

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Sophie @ yumventures March 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm

This looks amazing! And I apparently have to try those peppers =)

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Joan Nova March 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Very funny lead-in, Elly. I guess it is a Chicago thing because I’m an East-Coast Italian (1/2) and while this sandwich is not unfamiliar in its individual ingredients, it is not anything I associate with Italian food. Looks delicious, however.

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nina March 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm

This the ideal thing to make for my family because the heat is only added at the last minute. I can therefore make theirs without!!!

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bellini valli March 22, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Italian beef sandwiches would be my new favourite around here Elly. Those peppers need to be distrubuted world wide.

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Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul March 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm

If I ever get to Chicago, we’re heading out for one of those! How delicious! I love the peppers and some jus for dipping sounds even better! Yum!

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Julie March 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Your sandwich looks awesome, although I’m probably too much of a weenie for those peppers :)

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Cara March 22, 2010 at 8:38 pm

I’ve just begun a sick obsession with gardinia – now I’m sad I don’t have a potbelly nearby!

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Joanne March 23, 2010 at 5:33 am

Italian beef has to be one of my favorite street foods. They always have it at festivals and things here for Catholic holidays. Looks delicious!

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Peter March 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Yum… would still sneak in some caramelized onions and provolone…nisitisimo, non? lol

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Juliana March 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Elly, what a nice way to spice up the beef sandwich…looks fabulous :-)

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Serena October 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I just wanna say how much I love this recipe. (My family also loves it) we have made it 6 or 7 times a year. Potbelly peppers are the best.

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elly October 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Awesome, Serena. Glad you like it!

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