I love Italian Beef sandwiches. My mom makes them so good, with just the right amount of pepperoncini. I took down her recipe a few years ago….and have never made them. Part of the reason is I am afraid mine will not turn out as good as hers and I would ruin the recipe (even though I feel like this is the easiest crockpot recipe in the world!). Another reason is because my boys don’t really like shredded meats. It takes a lot for them to eat shredded beef or chicken. Most of the time I just avoid shredded meat sandwiches, unless it is loaded with barbecue sauce. 🙂
I stumbled across a new Italian Beef sandwich recipe that looked pretty tasty, so I figured I would try that one out….that way if I ruin it, I wouldn’t have any bad feelings towards my mom’s recipe. (Yes, I have a lot of issues. Just bear with me here…) 😉
After forgetting to add buns to my grocery list, I decided to use the 40 minute bun recipe I had also come across recently. I had another 40 minute bun recipe that I have used but not enjoyed lately.
So, new beef recipe and new bun recipe – my fingers were crossed!
After letting the beef cook all day, the house smelled amazing and the meat tasted AMAZING. I knew it would be way too spicy for my family, though, so I ended up taking the meat out and pouring out the juices into a bowl. I added the meat back into the crockpot and finished cooking it the last two hours in water I added. It helped mellow out the spiciness, and the juices I saved were added to the individual buns for those that wanted it a little more spicy (which only ended up being myself and two of the girls…so I am glad I took it out when I did). Next time, I think I would NOT add the juice from the pepper jar and just do water with the whole peppers, removing them with an hour or two left. But, the flavor was still SO GOOD! And we add cheese to everything, so a little white cheddar sprinkled on the meat added to the flavor too.
And the bread recipe did not turn out the first time I tried it; the came out as very dense balls. I think I didn’t have the water warm enough, so they couldn’t do their quick rise. I made them a second time and the turned out perfect (as you can see in the picture above). I will add that recipe below as well.
Italian Beef Sandwiches
1 cup water
1 jar pepperoncini (I would just do the peppers, not the juice…unless you like it super spicy)
2 TBSP dry italian dressing mix ( I used homemade)
3 pounds beef chuck roast
Add all to the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
Shred and add to buns. Enjoy!
40 Minute Buns
2 TBSP active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 TBSP warm water (I microwave the water for 1 minute)
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Dissolve yeast in water. Add oil and sugar, stir. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add egg, salt and flour to form soft dough.
- On floured surface, knead about 3-5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide into 12 pieces, shape each into a ball. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to racks to cool.
I sliced them in half and added the cheese while they were still warm, so the cheese melted a little before I added the warm meat.
Such a yummy, homemade meal!