Slow Cooker Italian Beef

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell
slow cooker italian beef

Slow Cooker Italian Beef is rich and delicious and better still takes just three ingredients: a chuck roast, an onion, and a jar of peperoncini. The crock pot does the rest. A few unattended hours later and you’ll be ready to make a pile of Italian beef sandwiches, even better than the ones at Gold Coast Dogs at the Midway Airport food court.

Open-faced Italian beef sams are just as good, like this:

Italian beef

What a wondrous kitchen appliance, the crockpot. “Crock Pot” probably gets more hits than “costume malfunction.” As it should. Efficient, reliable, predictable, controllable, cleanable, storable. Maybe one day the manufacturers’ “wrap-around graphics divisions” will step up and design an array of focus group-approved graphics that, like most mass-produced consumer products today, will really allow us to express our individualism.

So what’s cooking in the Bobby Labonte NASCAR crock pot now? Our latest jag continues the barbecue theme with another “sour meat.” Consider the many ways that vinegar or an acid like lemon juice is used to marinate, tenderize, and otherwise compliment beef, pork, and poultry. Italian dressing might be the most popular. Sales at Wishbone and Kraft surely sky-rocketed in the 80s when we brined our chicken breasts in the bottled dressing before throwing them on the grill in a fiery blaze. And the vinegar “sour” connection with meat goes way beyond that, way beyond a soy sauce marinade or a Mexican mojo for flank and skirt steak.

Let’s face facts, pulled pork without a peppery vinegary dousing can offer notes of dirty socks. German sauerbraten recipes soak a rump roast in a spiced vinegar solution for days. Filipino Chicken Adobo cooked in soy and coconut vinegar is a national dish. Now we can add Peperoncini Chuck Roast, among the most satisfying three ingredient slow cooker recipes around.

It’s simple and beyond the great tangy flavor, the vinegar cuts through the fatty taste of rich meat cuts and tenderizes the tougher cuts nicely. Think of it as Italian barbecue and pile it on big crusty rolls. It’s truly a three ingredient miracle.

One jar of pepperoncini with the juice and one sliced onion into the Bobby Labonte:

peperoncini chuck roast

After a good night’s sleep or a day at work, the peperoncini stems fall right out and the chuck falls right apart:

If this is up your alley, you’ll probably want to know about our Cheater Pork and Oven Ribs


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