Last week I asked my Facebook and Twitter friends if they’d like to see a crock pot recipe on the blog this week. There were so many exclamation marks in the comments, which I took to mean, ‘heck yes!’ that I immediately started brainstorming.
Everyone knows crock pot recipes are a busy person’s best friend but many of them can be heavy and unappealing at times. While brainstorming a new and interesting crock pot combo I decided the recipe would have to meet the following criteria:
- Beef-based as I have exactly one beef crock pot recipe on the blog – Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce.
- Easy. Nobody likes crock pot recipes with several cooking steps before you even plug the dang thing in.
- Very delicious, unique, and not gloopy whatsoever.
With the aforementioned criteria in mind, I settled on Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches. A mouthwatering, 5-ingredient flavor combo that has just the right amount of zip and zing!
Chuck roast is slow cooked for 10 hours in a mixture of pepperoncini peppers, Giardiniera, Italian dressing mix, and beef broth then shredded and served on a chewy hoagie bun with melted provolone cheese. Crazy (CRAZY) good, and did I mention that it’s made with just 5 ingredients?!
Ben was skeptical about eating the crock pot version of one of his favorite sandwiches, which is typically made with thinly sliced beef. “Oh…I’ve never heard of a shredded Italian beef sandwich before…” he said in a tone that I knew meant, I am definitely going to hate this.
But guess what? He didn’t! While I stood eating the shredded beef straight out of the crock pot like the refined woman that I am, he inhaled an entire sandwich in under 2 minutes. That is to say, this dish was a total hit!
How to Make Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches:
Start by trimming any large pieces of fat off a 3lb chuck roast then cut the roast into seven or eight big hunks and place them in the bottom of a 6 quart crock pot.
Next sprinkle in a packet of Good Seasons Zesty Italian Salad Dressing Mix. I like this pre-packaged mix because I recognize all the ingredients.
Edited to add: this mix is NOT gluten-free! Use a homemade Italian Dressing mix (halve or eliminate the salt called for in the recipe,) or look for a gluten free mix like Simply Organic.
Add 8oz sliced pepperoncini peppers plus a splash of pepperoncini juice plus 8oz Chicago-Style Giardiniera which you can find in the olive/pickle aisle at the grocery store.
I’d never had Chicago-style Giardiniera, a type of relish made with pickled olives and vegetables that’s packed in herbs and oils, but Ben insisted it go into this dish. I’m so glad he did because OH MY GOSH it is so good! It’s supposed to go over Italian beef sandwiches, but I could have eaten forkful after forkful all by itself.
Because it’s packed in oil though, which would add unnecessary fat to the dish, I scooped out the mix with a fork and let it drain away. You can get Giardiniera that’s packed in vinegar, but I found this style to be a real treat.
Finally, add a can of beef broth then place a lid on top of the crock pot and let it cook on low for 9 hours, or until the beef can be easily shredded with a fork.
Once the roast can be easily shredded with a fork, shred then slip the meat back into the slow cooker to cook in the juices for 1 more hour on low. Scoop the meat onto hoagie buns then slap a slice of provolone on top to melt from the heat of the beef. Serve with extra pepperoncini peppers and Giardiniera, and you’re set!
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Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches
Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are the 5-ingredient crock pot version of the popular hot sandwich recipe. This easy dinner recipe is a crowd-pleaser!
- 3lb chuck roast, trimmed of visible fat and cut into large hunks
- 1 envelope Good Seasons Zesty Italian salad dressing mix (SEE NOTE FOR GF)
- 8oz pepperoncini pepper slices + splash of juice (plus extra for serving)
- 8oz Giardiniera (Chicago-Style Italian Sandwich Mix,) drained (plus extra for serving)
- 14.5oz can beef broth
- provolone cheese slices
- hoagie buns
- Place chuck roast into the bottom of a 5.5 - 6 quart crock pot then sprinkle with salad dressing mix. Add pepperoncini peppers plus a splash of juice, Giardiniera, and beef broth then lift up chuck roast pieces to get broth underneath. Place a lid on top then cook on low for 9 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork. Shred then place meat back into crock pot and cook on low for 1 more hour.
- Split buns in half then scoop the shredded meat mixture on top and add provolone cheese slices. Top with additional pepperoncini peppers and Giardiniera, if desired, then serve.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
This is one of my favorite crock pot recipes to date. Could not have been easier to make and the flavors from the pickled vegetables and pepper rings really made the beef sing. Let’s not forget that chewy hoagie bun either, which soaks up all the yummy juices. SO GOOD. Hope you’ll give it a try sometime!
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