Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Italian Beef Sandwiches

I've been on a Cooking Light kick lately. My grandma gave me a stack of old issues on my last visit home. I happened to have a few of these issues next to me when I wrote the meal plan for last week and this week. Of the four recipes chosen from Cooking Light, 3 have been wonderful. The Tomato-Provolone Sandwiches, the Deep Dish Pizza, and the Thai Rice Noodles with Chicken (I'm posting that one tomorrow) were winners. This recipe for Italian Beef Sandwiches is the one that fell short of my expectations. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't outstanding. For me, the 3 main problems with this recipe were: 1) even after marinating the roast overnight, the beef was still not terribly flavorful 2) the beef was supposed to be thinly sliced, however after slow cooking on LOW for 8 hours, the beef was so tender that it fell apart. Not that tender is bad, but there was no hope for slicing it. 3) the recommended amount of broth (14 oz.) was not enough. It needed more "juice".

Still, I'm posting this recipe because it has potential. If I make this again, I'll season my roast a little more, add more broth, and maybe throw a cube or two of beef bouillon into the crock pot.

Here's how the sandwiches began. After marinating a rump roast all night, place the roast and the marinade in a crock pot and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until tender. Here's my roast all ready to be sliced for sandwiches.

Only, try as I might, the beef wouldn't slice. It was too tender. Any pressure I applied with the knife to slice the roast just made it fall apart. After I "sliced" the beef, I strained the cooking liquid through a sieve. I returned the strained broth to the crock pot and then returned the beef to the liquid. At this point I gave the beef a good dose of salt and a sprinkle of pepper because it needed it!

The recipe calls for 8 Italian rolls, sliced in half and hollowed out. I piled a little more than the recommended 3 oz. of beef on each sandwich, so really there was only enough beef for 5-6 sandwiches. I drizzled some of the cooking liquid over each sandwich and then I sprinkled on a little mozzarella cheese.

I decided to put them under the broiler for a minute to toast the bread and melt the cheese. We all know that you're not supposed to move more than 5 feet away from the stove when you've got something under the broiler. At least that's my rule. But when the call came from the family room, "MOM!", I went. Minutes later I wandered back into the kitchen, another kid crisis happily solved. I absent-mindedly thought to myself, "Hmm. Something smells like it's burning." It only took about one more second before..."OH NO! THE SANDWICHES..." I may have also said something else which prompted my daughter to call from the next room, "Mom! You told us not to say that word!" Great. I could've have sworn I was out of earshot. Luckily, I had a couple of extra rolls. I just switched out the top part.

I topped these with some sauteed onions and peppers. I also squirted a packet of Arby's Horsey sauce that I found chillin' in the refrigerator door on top of my sandwich. Then it was good!

Italian Beef Sandwiches adapted from Cooking Light, October 2009

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich and about 1/3 cup cooking liquid)

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (2 1/2-pound) rump roast, trimmed
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
1/2 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or provolone
6 (2-ounce) Italian rolls

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top bag, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

2. Place beef and marinade in an electric slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on LOW 8 hours or until beef is tender. Place beef on a cutting board (reserve cooking liquid); let stand 10 minutes. Thinly slice beef; place in a shallow dish. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve. Reserve. Pour cooking liquid over beef.

3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Slice rolls lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Hollow out top and bottom halves of rolls, leaving a 3/4-inch-thick shell; reserve the torn bread for another use. Arrange beef on each roll. Drizzle cooking liquid over beef. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with onions and peppers. Serve with remaining cooking liquid for dipping.

Nutritional Information *based on the original recipe and serving sizes found HERE.
Fat:11.3g (sat 3.4g,mono 4.8g,poly 1.2g)

To download or print this recipe click here!


Donna-FFW said...

Thats what I would call a sandwich meal. Love all that goes into it. My hubby would have loved the charred bread:)

Ty'sMommy said...

Hey, I think they sounds great! And I can totally relate to being pulled away from the stove by the little ones...and my being overheard saying something I shouldn't. lol too funny!

Chicago Mom said...

I hate when a recipe is good but I know it could have been better. Thanks for posting it anyway. And to comment on your last post - I make a panini with turkey, swiss, garlic and mustard on sourdough that my family hates, but I love it!

Katy ~ said...

Well, that's disappointing, put in all that effort and expense. I would've been attracted to the recipe as well, as the ingredients sound very good. Good to hear your opinion and your suggestions for improvement.

Rachel said...

Your sandwiches look great...I'm thinking I see one in the near future with a cup of homemade soup that I've been meaning to make for weeks now!

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