Slow cooked beef with hot giardiniera peppers give these sandwiches an authentic Italian beef flavor.
My husband absolutely loves beef and could practically live off just steak and potatoes everyday, if I let him. When we are planning to go out to dinner, his first choice is always a steakhouse or something similar. If I overrule him and we end up somewhere that's not a steakhouse, I can almost guarantee you that he will order the only steak on the menu… or the only dish that has steak in it.
Browsing through my recipe posts, however, will show you that I do not cook much beef. Yeah, there are a couple beef recipes (and I plan on adding more just for him) but for the most part I stick to what I know… Breakfast food – which he eats none of, Chicken, and Desserts.
Now, he, of course, doesn't mind that I have begun to do all the cooking and he still will eat just about everything that I put in front of him. When he cooks, it is usually steak and a side of veggies and unlike him, I cannot live off of beef alone. So yes, when I cook there are days that I feel bad about cooking chicken for the hundredth time and thus I give into his love of all things beef.
That is exactly what happened with these amazing sandwiches. See, we were heading to Chicago for the day and we usually stop somewhere on the way to grab a lunch. He was choosing the restaurant and came up with Portillo's. Never been there, never heard of it. It's an Italian beef fast food type restaurant. Great… more beef. Ok, I'll try it.
I was very hesitant to try this Italian beef restaurant because the last time he took us to an Italian beef place it didn't turn out well. There were 5 of us that ate that day and we all ended up with food poisoning. Yeah… see my hesitation now?
Fortunately, Portillo's turned out to be amazing and we have since eaten there on just about every trip we make back to Chicago. We make the trip quite frequently but not frequent enough for the hubby to get his Italian beef fix.
So recently I decided to try and cook up my own version of an Italian beef. I cooked my meat low and slow to make sure that it was super tender and there were enough juice for him to dunk his sandwich in, just like he gets at Portillo's. Then topped everything with shredded provolone cheese and hot giardiniera.
The hubby thoroughly enjoyed the sandwiches and has asked me to make them more than once since. So dig right in and enjoy this little twist on a classic beef sandwich.
Slow Cooker Beef Sandwiches
- 8 oz beef flank steak
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2/3 cup tomato juice
- 1/2 cup hot giardiniera or sweet peppers
- 1 loaf Italian bread
- 1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese
- In slow cooker, add flank steak and sprinkle with oregano, crushed red pepper, and minced garlic. Pour tomato juice over top.
- Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Remove meat from slow cooker and shred meat. Return to slow cooker and cook in juices for additional 30 minutes. If desired, stir giardiniera into shredded meat to cook.
- Cut Italian bread length wise and into 6 (or desired) number of sandwiches.
- Take bottom piece of bread and top with shredded meat. Drizzle with cooking juices to just moisten the meat and bread. Top with more giardiniera and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cover with top of Italian bread and serve immediately.
Giardiniera is an Italian hot or sweet pepper blend found in most major grocery stores.