We lived in Chicago for a total of 12 years, where we developed a great love and appreciation for a really good Italian Beef Sandwich. I think this one takes the cake, though.
Made with simple ingredients and using leaner cuts of beef, this version of Italian Beef becomes a healthy dinner option. It can be made into a low-carb, Paleo-friendly recipe by skipping the bread, placing the meat into an oven-proof ramekin, topping it with cheese, and broiling it, as you would on the sandwiches. (Keep off the cheese for Paleo diets.) This same technique can be used to make the recipe gluten-free – or buy gluten-free rolls.
Don’t skip the roasted peppers and onions for this sandwich. They really make a difference in adding a nice, natural sweetness. These can totally be a do-ahead, on the weekend, or on a day when you are spending time in the kitchen anyway. Just pop them in an airtight container and put them in the fridge when they are done (and cooled down). They will keep for 4-5 days. Heat them up in the microwave for a minute or two when ready to serve.
Note: The times on this recipe assume that the onions and peppers come from the store, sliced and ready to go (from the produce section or the salad bar). If you choose to prep these yourself, add 15-20 minutes to the prep time.
- 4 pound boneless beef roast (rump roast, pot roast, boneless beef chuck, sirloin roast – all trimmed)
- ½ cup sliced onion
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 package dry Italian dressing seasoning
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried onion powder
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 thyme bundle
- 4 cups beef broth
- 3 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, sliced (2-3 cups)
- 2 large onions, sliced (2-3 cups)
- Olive oil
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- 5-6 hoagie rolls
- Store-bought giardiniera
- Store-bought sliced pepperoncini
- Combine all ingredients from the onion to the beef broth in a disposable slow cooker bag in the slow cooker. Add 2-3 tsp of the liquid from the store-bought giardiniera and the meat to the bag.
- Heat on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. (You can also put the entire crockpot bag in the refrigerator or freezer to save for cooking another day. Cook within 4-5 days.)
- Preheat oven to 425. Spread peppers and onions out on an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet. Add 2 TBSP olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Using your hand, coat the veggies with the olive oil mixture. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes, until the onions and peppers are soft and are developing some brown color around the edges.
- Remove beef from crockpot and place on a plate or a cutting board. Increase crockpot heat to high and remove the lid. Shred the beef, using 2 forks. Return the beef to the crockpot and taste! Add more salt, if needed. Cook an additional 10-15 minutes with the lid off, letting the sauce slightly thicken.
- When ready to serve, top hoagie rolls with 1-2 pieces of provolone. Toast in a toaster or broil in the oven for a minute or two, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. (Watch the sandwiches closely at this step so they don’t burn!) Spoon beef and juice over roll. Serve sandwiches topped with peppers and onions and store-bought giardiniera and pepperoncini.
**To make this low-carb or gluten-free, place the beef in an oven-safe bowl, topping with provolone cheese, and broil, as you would on the sandwiches. (Keep off the cheese for Paleo diets.) No gluten folks can also make the recipe using gluten-free rolls.