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Chicago Italian Beef “Stew Meat Edition” – The Deep Dish Pizza of Sandwiches

I’ve always wondered how stewed beef would work instead of the traditional sliced roast beef for Chicago’s famous Italian Beef Sandwich, which is kind of weird, since I’ve only had the classic version a few times, and never actually made it myself. 

But, I figured if you’re going to roast a hunk of beef, then slice it and put it back in the juices, why not just cook the meat in a broth to begin with? How had the fine people of Chicago not thought of this obvious adaptation? Were the same people running the Cubs also in charge of civic recipe improvements? Was Kanye West somehow to blame? And another thing; why the hell would the Bears give Jay Cutler that new contract?


Anyway, once I finished my mad experiment, I realized that this wasn’t an improvement on an old sandwich at all; it was just a new sandwich. While the flavors are similar, the texture and overall mouthfeel of this sandwich is completely different. It’s much closer to pulled pork in that respect, but delicious nevertheless.


So, while this ended up not being the Chicago Italian beef breakthrough I had hoped for, it did make for a fine lunch, and if you’re looking for a manly hand-meal for your next shindig, I hope give this tasty, and very juicy sandwich a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 large sandwiches:
1 1/2 or 2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 2-inch chunks, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. to taste
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp white vinegar
3 cups chicken broth, or enough to cover meat by an inch
4 crusty sandwich rolls
1 cup drained Giardiniera (pickled vegetables), chopped into a relish
- Brown meat and simmer covered in the remaining of ingredients until tender

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions

If the thought of a hot sandwich filled with beef,  melted cheese, caramelized onions and peppers served with beef broth for dipping sound appealing, you NEED to make these!

These sandwiches make the perfect game day meal, start this early in the morning because you’ll need 9 to 12 hours, depending on the size of your roast. You can even serve them as sliders by serving them on dinner rolls.

Ever since I got my hands on the The Recipe Girl Cookbook: Dishing Out the Best Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day[1], I’ve had my eye on this recipe because I love a good French Dip! To be honest, I’ve never made roast beef in the slow cooker, because I love my roast beef in the oven, cooked to medium rare. But I took a chance because I was curious and made this yesterday. Smelled so good simmering all day and when it was ready I made myself a sandwich… it was awesome!

My husband came home from work hungry and I made him a sandwich, and he LOVED it! I didn’t have to do much to her recipe to make it light, I just used whole grain bread (tried with both whole wheat baguette and whole wheat 100 calorie potato rolls) and I used portion control and they were perfectly satisfying. I highly recommend making the onions and peppers, in my opinion they make the sandwich!

I’ve known Lori (aka Recipe Girl[2]) for quite a few years, we first met on Twitter, then in person a few times and recently spent a weekend away at the Better Blog Retreat in Park City, Utah along with a few other lovely ladies. Lori is pictured on my left.

The recipes in her book are perfect for entertaining and she includes menu ideas from everything from football parties, romantic dinners for two, holiday parties, tailgating parties and more, or you can just serve them up any night of the week.

Because this can make several servings depending on the size of the roast you purchase, and the appetites of your guests I am leaving out the serving size and calculating the nutrition based on one sandwich using a whole wheat baguette.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions
Adapted From: The Recipe Girl Cookbook[3]
Servings: varies • Size: 1 sandwich (see below) • Old Points: 6 • Points+: 8 pt
Calories: 308 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 31 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 29 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 620 mg  • Cholest: 40 mg

Ingredients:

For The Beef:

  • 3 to 4 lb lean beef round roast, trimmed
1 tbsp minced garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dry)
1 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dry)
1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 to 3 (14.5 oz) cans Swanson’s low-sodium beef broth

  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 large onion, cut into chunks

For the Caramelized Onions (makes about 1 cup):

  • 
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

For the Peppers (makes about 2 cups):

  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into strips

For the Sandwich:

  • 
Sargento Reduced Fat Provolone or Mozzarella Slices 

  • whole wheat baguette or rolls, cut into 2 oz pieces



Directions:



In a small bowl mix garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub the spice mixture onto all sides of the roast, then place in the slow cooker.

Pour the broth into the side of the roast until it just cover the meat. If the broth doesn’t cover the roast you can add water and top with onions. Add the Worcestershire sauce, peppercorns and bay leaf to the broth. Cover and cook on low until the meat flakes apart easily with a fork, about 9 to 12 hours, depending on the size of your roast.


An hour before the meat is done, prepare the onions and peppers. In a large nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook until golden, stirring often, reducing heat as needed if the onions are burning or browning too quickly, about 30 to 35 minutes. Add 1 tbsp to the pan if it becomes too dry. The onions should turn golden and the flavor should be sweet. Transfer to a serving bowl, then add the peppers to the skillet and cook stirring often until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the meat from the slow cooker to a cutting board and shred with a fork or slice with a knife. Strain the broth through a fine sieve then place in a gravy separator to remove any fat. Pour 1/4 cup broth into each small ramekin.

Preheat the oven to broil. Split the bread open and top with 2 ounces of beef. Top with onions, peppers and cheese and broil until the cheese melts. Place on a plate with broth for dipping.

Nutrition based on: 2 oz whole wheat baguette, 2 oz cooked beef round, 1/4 cup beef broth, 1 slice cheese, onions & peppers.

References

  1. ^ The Recipe Girl Cookbook: Dishing Out the Best Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day (www.amazon.com)
  2. ^ Recipe Girl (www.recipegirl.com)
  3. ^ The Recipe Girl Cookbook (www.amazon.com)

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Garlic Lover’s Roast Beef

Vampires beware, there’s garlic in every bite! And if that’s not enough garlic, I like to serve this with roasted broccoli with smashed garlic[1] and skinny mashed potatoes… in my house, there’s never too much garlic.

With Father’s Day right around the corner, I thought it was time to re-shoot this recipe which means this is what’s for dinner tonight. I make roast beef quite often in my house because it’s pretty simple to make and we all love it. Roast beef is really hard to mess up as long as you have a meat thermometer and you let it rest before slicing.

For lunch today I made a delicious carved roast beef sandwich with melted cheese and sweet caramelized onions that I will be sharing tomorrow here, it was sooo good!

Garlic Lover’s Roast Beef
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: will vary • Size: 3 oz cooked • Old Points: 4 • WW Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 175 • Fat: 8 g • Protein: 24 g • Carb: 0 g • Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 0 g 
Sodium: 32 mg (without salt) • Cholest: 50 mg

Ingredients:

Directions:

Remove the roast from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking to reach room temperature. Trim all the fat off the meat. Using a sharp knife, pierce meat about 1/2-inch deep and insert slivers of garlic in each hole, pushing all the way in. Lightly spray the meat with olive oil and season generously with salt, pepper and rosemary. Place the thermometer all the way into the center of the meat.

Preheat oven to 350°. When the oven reaches 350°, place the roast in a roasting pan and put in the oven.

Roast until the thermometer reads 130° for rare, 140° for medium rare, 150° for medium, and 155-160° for well done. Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest 10-20 minutes before you cut it so that the juices distributed evenly. I personally remove my roast beef from the oven when it is 135° for medium rare. The temperature will rise an additional 5 degrees as it sits.

Slice thin and serve.

References

  1. ^ roasted broccoli with smashed garlic (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)

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