I may be little but boy do I love food! I especially love meat...there is absolutely NO WAY that I could ever become vegetarian. I have nothing against it; it's just not possible for me, especially given the fact that the cheeseburger is my all-time favorite thing to eat. Ever.
One of my other favorite things....Italian Beef. I drool just thinking about it! I'm a sucker for a good sandwich covered with beef, cheese and peppers....what's not to love?! One of my favorite places to get a good Italian Beef Sandwich is in Chicago: Portillo's. It's nothin' fancy and it's more like a fast-food type of service (I think they even have a drive-through), but I always sit down, inside, to enjoy my wonderful Italian treat! Seriously. It's not fancy, but it's oh, so good! If you're ever in the neighborhood, you have to go there and order the Italian Beef Sandwich with sweet peppers and cheese. You can also get it dipped, which is even better, but much more messy than the original version! For me, it's a must to go there when I head to Chi-town to visit my best friend, Sonya!
While I could probably never come close to re-creating Portillo's delightful sandwich, I can at least dream! And dream I did while stuffing my face with this scrumptious recipe I found from, Ree, The Pioneer Woman! I enjoy reading her recipes and drooling over the pictures on my computer. Some people I know can take her or leave her (like Rachael Ray) and some will tell you that there is more to be desired with her recipes, but I, on the other hand, can tell you that I have never been disappointed with her food. Normally, I like to adapt a recipe to suit my taste but this one...this one I didn't touch one bit and I'll tell you why. Because it was heaven! That's why!
The beef was cooked slowly all day long and it was tender and juicy and succulent. The juice from the peppers gave it a little tang and the melted cheese laid over the beef like a cozy blanket, keeping everything underneath warm and tasty! The Au Jus formed at the bottom of the dish was the perfect little accessory for this pretty little sandwich to be dipped in. It was glorious and I have a feeling it's going to be making appearances in our household on a regular (probably monthly) basis.
Italian Beef Sandwiches
1 Beef Chuck Roast, 2.5-4 lbs.
1 can Beef Consomme
3 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup Water
1 - 12oz. jar Pepperoncini Peppers
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Lg. Onion, sliced (optional)
Mozzarella Cheese, deli-sliced
In a large crock pot, place the whole chuck roast in and cover with beef consomme, Italian seasoning, water, peppers (including the juice), salt and onion.
Turn on Low and let cook for 5-6 hours.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the rolls in half and spread out on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Place a little butter in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high until melted (how much butter you will need is dependent on how many rolls you use). Using a pastry brush, brush the butter on each roll and bake for 10 minutes or until slightly crisp. Remove when done and turn the broiler on.
Meanwhile, using 2 forks, begin shredding the beef in the crock pot until no large chunks are left. Using tongs, place a large amount of beef on the bottom portion of rolls and cover with a slice of cheese. Place under broiler to melt the cheese slightly (about 2 minutes). Serve immediately with juice from the crock pot as Au Jus to dip sandwich in. - Note: Any type of cheese would work such as Provolone, Gouda, Havarti, Swiss, Muenster, etc. Be careful and watch the sandwich under the broiler as they tend to cook up quickly! You can also cook this in the oven, instead, at 275 degrees for 5-6 hours.
Yield: 10 Servings
Source: Adapted from The Pioneer Woman