Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Italian Beef Sandwiches

I have been eating Italian Beef Sandwiches all my life. I think I heard someone say that the recipe entered our family through my dad's Aunt Jane (please correct me if I'm wrong.) While the recipe is essentially the same, I have tweaked it to make it suitable for the crockpot.

First, I gather all the ingredients. You'll notice the Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. Ordinarily I'd use Lawry's Seasoned Salt, but I'm out, so I've been using Tony Chachere's instead lately because it's also a seasoned salt just with different spices.

Put the roast in the crockpot and sprinkle on the seasonings. Add 1 cup of water to help cook the roast, but not more since this is a crockpot and the moisture can't escape like in the oven.
Let it cook on low all day. When it's tender, remove the meat and thinly slice or shred.

Put the meat back in the crockpot with the juices. Add only enough water to not quite cover the meat and let it cook some more.

When you're tired of waiting, serve the meat on some good buns, being sure to add some juice to each sandwich.
Tonight I tried these 40-Minute Hamburger Buns that I heard about on Love to Pinch Pennies. Casey's were prettier than mine, but that's no surprise considering I screwed them up. I am out of active dry yeast, so I used rapid rise, but mixed the dry ingredients first rather than proofing the yeast in the water like you do with active dry. That shouldn't be a huge deal, but I added more than I needed to. I dumped in 3 packets without thinking and each one has 2.25 teaspoons for a total of 6.75 teaspoons, but the recipe called for 2 tablespoons or 6 teaspoons. Then I forgot the salt. They were good, but definitely needed salt. They were fast because they only require one short rise instead of two rises which made them great for a weeknight. I will hold onto this recipe.

Italian Beef Sandwiches (100% Crockpot method)

3 lb boneless beef roast such as rump
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 t seasoned salt
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t rosemary
1 t Italian seasoning
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water for roasting plus more later

Place meat in a crockpot. Add seasonings and 1 cup of water. Cook on LOW all day.

Remove meat from crockpot. Slice thinly or shred and return to crockpot with juices. Add a little bit more water, but not quite enough to cover the meat. Continue cooking a couple more hours to let the flavors mingle.

Serve meat and juices on a good bun that won't get soggy and fall apart from the juices.

50% crockpot/50% stove option:

To speed up dinner, after the meat has cooked in the crockpot until tender, you can simmer the sliced/shredded meat and juices in a covered skillet on the stovetop for 45 minutes. Just don't add any more water than you need to!

If you know you'll be exercising the stove option and you don't have the time/energy to measure out a bunch of spices in the morning, then don't worry. Just put the meat in the crockpot and season it with the salt and pepper and add the water. You can add the remaining seasonings to the skillet in the evening.


  1. you're right, the recipe came from Aunt Jane, and your buns look yummy!

  2. I don't usually cook a whole roast, but this looks simple and tasty. If I find one on sale I've to try it.