Monday, March 22, 2010
A couple of months ago I tried a recipe for Italian Beef for sandwiches in my crockpot. I was disappointed when the finished product fell short of my expectations. I'd hoped for more flavor and it didn't yield quite enough au jus. Then, last month, I put out the request for favorite slow cooker recipes. Emily, a friend of Krista's Kitchen on Facebook posted this simple recipe for Italian Beef. Emily wrote about her recipe, "I have several recipes that I like but my all time favorite came from my mother-in-law! The best part...(it's) also good for beef veggie soup, beef burritos/ tacos, enchilada filling, beef and noodles, hash and pot pies!!" She adds that when making this for Mexican dishes she adds taco seasoning and that "it freezes awesome!" I'm all for freezing extra food for future meals. Good call, Emily and thank you for a wonderful recipe!
This recipe possessed the flavor that my first attempt at Italian Beef was lacking AND yielded plenty of broth to soak into the sandwich bread. This is what I was looking for! Best of all, you only need three ingredients!
To begin, you need a roast. Emily recommended a rolled or tip roast, however I had this chuck roast in my freezer, so I went with that. To season the beef you need two packets of Zesty Italian seasoning and some Spicy V8 (I used the store brand).
Mix the seasoning packets and 12 oz. of the juice in your crock pot. Add the roast, turn to coat, then cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours. I ended up turning mine over once or twice during the cooking time to give each side a turn at soaking in "the juice". I know that this was totally not necessary, but the recipe is just so easy that I had to put my hands on it a couple of times to feel like I actually did something. Oh, I know that you lose 20 minutes of cooking time each time you lift the lid of your slow cooker, but mine cooks so fast that I wasn't concerned about losing heat.
At the end of the 8 hours, the roast was "fall apart tender". I moved it to a casserole dish, pulled it apart, and then transferred the beef back into the broth remaining in the crock pot. It went for a nice swim while I readied the sandwich fixings.
I decided that I wanted some sweet onions and peppers for our sammies so I sauteed them in a little olive oil on the stovetop until tender.
This was just about perfect...
But then I thought, "This would be even better with some provolone melted over the top." So I slapped on the cheese, fired up the broiler, and slid the sandwich underneath. Then I broke the #1 rule in broiling...
I walked from the oven. YUM...charred Italian Beef Sandwiches. I've said it before and I'll say it again: NEVER walk away from the oven when using the broiler. It's bad news, Man. But the good news? I was able to salvage this sandwich. I just got rid of the burned half of the hoagie roll and ate it open faced. Whew! Close one. I would have hated to waste such a delicious sandwich.
Here is Emily's recipe courtesy of her mother-in-law : )
3-4# rolled or tip roast
2 pkgs Zesty Italian "Good Seasonings" or generic
1 can (12 oz) V8 or zesty V8
Crockpot on low for 8 hrs. Pull apart. Reheat in crockpot (if prepared ahead), serve with rolls and all the fixings.