Slow Cooker Italian Beef SandwichesEstimated Cost:  $13.50

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Slow Cooker Time:  6 hours

Serves:  6

One of my favorite flavors of Chicago easily made inside your slow cooker.  My favorite all-time sandwich, no question.

3 lbs. beef chuck roast
2 pkgs. (1 oz.) dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 cup water
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 jar (16 oz.) pepperoncini peppers
hoagie buns OR French bread
garlic powder and salt to taste
1 cup giardiniera vinaigrette vegetables, chopped
sliced Provolone cheese

1. Place the roast into a slow cooker, and season with Italian dressing mix. Pour in the water and Worcestershire sauce. Cover, and cook on HIGH for 3 hours.

2. Add the pepperoncini (with juice) to the seasoned meat in the slow cooker; continue to cook on high an additional 2 hours.

3. Remove the meat and shred with two forks (how to). Return shredded beef to crock pot and continue cooking an additional hour (1).

4. Lightly brush the hoagie buns OR French bread with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and salt. Toast under oven broiler just until brown, approximately 1 minute. Fill the buns with shredded beef. Top sandwiches with sliced Provolone cheese and return to oven broiler until cheese is melted, approximately 1 minute.

5. Ladle juices over sandwiches just before serving and serve with extra au jus, pepperocini and the chopped giardiniera vinaigrette vegetables on the side.

Mike’s comments:

Whenever I’m in Chicago I order my Italian beef sandwiches “dipped”. The cook picks up near finished sandwich with tongs and dunks the whole thing in au jus. This makes them incredibly messy and even more delicious!

If you’ve never cooked with giardiniera vinaigrette vegetables, they’re simply an Italian relish made up of an assortment of vegetables. In Chicago, Giardiniera, hot or mild, is a key ingredient in Italian beef sandwiches.

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