By Jessica Woodward
Have you seen the TikTok-famous Italian beef sandwiches that are cooked in the crockpot with the premixed seasoning packets and spicy peppers? It flooded my feed a few weeks ago. And while I’m sure that version is good, my version is like that version but turned up a few notches!
There are a few simple extra steps that you can take to make this meal even better. First, use your own seasoning mix. Good quality spices go a long way in flavor. Plus, chances are, you have most, if not all, of the seasonings already in your pantry for this recipe. You also eliminate the extra processed ingredients by using your own.
Second, browning your meat before braising it makes all the difference. It creates a great crust and locks in all of the juices. Do not skip this step. You will one thousand percent regret it if you do.
Lastly, cook it in the oven. Step aside crockpot, this is a job for the ole’ Dutch oven! When the weather starts to turn cold my favorite thing to do on the weekend is to put something in a Dutch oven and cook it all day. You can really taste the difference between something that is cooked low and slow and something that’s rushed to the table. Not to mention since this cooks for several hours, it warms up your house and fills it with all of the free yummy smells.
While this step isn’t necessary, I highly recommend it. Find yourself the sharpest provolone that you can find. My husband’s grandfather always told us that “the stinkier the better.” His grandmother used to drive around to multiple Italian markets to find the stinkiest provolone cheese that she could find. It really balances the fat in the beef with the sharpness and saltiness of the cheese.
Drooling?! Me too – let’s get to it!
Braised Hot Italian Beef Sandwiches
3 pound chuck roast, cut into 5” chunks
1 large white onion, sliced into 1 inch wedges
6 cloves garlic, smashed
16 oz jar whole pepperoncini peppers
2 cups of beef stock
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Season beef with salt. In a dutch oven, heat a little bit of olive oil and brown meat on all sides. About 2-3 minutes each side. Don’t skip this step!
Add broth, onions, half the jar of peppers, ½ cup of the pepper juice and all of the spices to the Dutch oven.
Cover with the lid and bake for 1 hour at 325°F then turn the oven down to 275 and cook for an additional 3 hours.
Pull meat from the dutch oven and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Shred meat and return to the juice.
Assemble sandwiches! Feel free to add the peppers and onions to the buns, too!
As always, I want to see what you’re cooking up this fall! Follow me on social media and use the hashtags #TheDriftlessFoodie #TheHangryDiaries #GetHangry so I can follow along with you in your kitchens.