This slow cooker Italian beef is not just packed with flavor but it’s also versatile. Shred the beef and you can use the meat in many ways like in a sandwich or lettuce wraps.
I spend a good amount of time in Chicago. I went to high school there, my parents live there, and I still have friends there so I try to visit at least once a year. One of my all-time favorite meals and my must-have when I’m back is an Chicago Italian beef sandwich. Preferably from Portillo’s.
While it’s not nearly as good, this Italian beef recipe is an ode to my beloved Portillo’s. I even used the leftover 8 ounces of Portillo’s hot giardiniera peppers I had in my refrigerator…which was a tad too spicy for my dinner guests. I suggest you use mild peppers unless you really like spicy. Most slow cooker Italian beef recipes call for a packet or two of Italian salad dressing mix. Don’t buy it.
Ditch the store-bought Italian Salad dressing mix! Making your own is so much healthier. Here is my homemade Italian Salad Dressing Mix. Unlike most recipes for Italian salad dressing, my version does not include sugar.
Homemade Italian Salad Dressing Mix
2 Tbsp dried oregano
3 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp onion powder
2 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp. celery salt
I used a 3 1/2 lb roast. I also seared my roast first. This is an optional step.
- 3-4 lb chuck roast
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 8 ounces pepperoncini peppers
- 8 ounces giardiniera, drained
- 2 tbsp homemade Italian Salad Dressing Mix (see blog post)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (or oil from giardiniera if it has it)
- 1 bay leaf
- Pour broth into the slow cooker.
- Add roast on top.
- Add pepperoncini, giardiniera, Worchestershire, garlic, and bay leaf on top of roast.
- Cook HIGH 4-5 hours or LOW 8-9.
- Optional step - remove beef from slow cooker. Remove flat and shred with two forks. Place shredded meat back in the slow cooker.
Shred your beef and make a sandwich or keep it whole and slice it.
I like to shred mine. If your meat isn’t tender enough that is shreds easily then let it cook until it does.