Slow-Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

Serves 6.

Note: While traditionally, Italian beef sandwiches are served with rolls soaked in the beefy au jus, you can also serve the au jus on the side and simply dip the sandwich into it. This makes the experience less messy, but also less juicy. The choice is yours. From Meredith Deeds.

• 1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 3 lb.)

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vegetable oil, divided

• 1 medium onion, chopped

• 1/2 c. sliced pepperoncini (thin, pickled peppers)

• 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

• 4 garlic cloves, chopped

• 2 c. beef stock

• 3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips

• 6 hoagie or Italian rolls

• 1 c. chopped Italian giardiniera (prepared pickled vegetables)

Directions

Season the beef roast with the salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the roast to the skillet and cook for 4 to 6 minutes on both sides, or until well browned. Transfer to a 4 or 5-quart slow cooker.

Add the onion, pepperoncini, Italian seasoning and garlic to the slow cooker. Pour the beef stock over the roast and cook on the low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours, or until the meat is meltingly tender.

Transfer meat to a cutting board. Skim off as much fat as possible from the cooking liquid in the slow cooker. Using 2 forks, pull the meat apart into bite-sized pieces.

In a large skillet, heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Add the sliced red bell peppers and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat.

To make the sandwiches: Divide the meat between the 6 rolls and top with some of the sautéed peppers and the giardiniera. Serve with some of the liquid on the side for dipping. (If you don’t mind a messier sandwich, add the meat back to the liquid after pulling it apart. Spoon the meat onto the rolls, making sure to get plenty of juice in the process. The roll will be soaked, and juice will drip down your arms when you eat it, but that’s a good thing, right?)

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 520 Fat 21 g Sodium 900 mg

Carbohydrates 46 g Saturated fat 7 g Total sugars 11 g

Protein 35 g Cholesterol 75 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 2 ½ carb, 4 medium-fat protein.