Deep dish pizza.
Hot dogs without ketchup.
Polish Sausages (said like this).
Italian Beef (Portillos or bust).
In case you couldn’t tell, us Chicagoans like food. Lots of food. Cheesy, meaty, delicious food. Stick to your rib (and thighs and stomach and booty) food.
I kind of love it.
Are any of these things particularly healthy? Nope. Not in the least. I’ve recreated a few of these dishes (see my Deep Dish Pizza Muffins, Chili-Cheese Popcorn, and Kettle Corn recipes) to be a little healthier, but they aren’t exactly the same as the real deal.
One classic Chicago dish that I have made before but never thought to share was Italian beef. That changes today.
If you’ve ever had a Portillo’s Italian Beef Sandwich, this won’t taste EXACTLY like that. In fact, I think it’s literally impossible for anyone other than Mr. Portillo himself to make a Portillo’s Italian Beef Sandwich. Don’t you believe any of those recipes out there claiming to taste like the real deal. I, however, am not claiming that. I’m just saying if you want to enjoy an Italian beef sandwich from the comfort of your home and you don’t live near a Portillo’s, this recipe might hold you over until you can get the real deal.
What I love best about this meal is that it cooks in all day in the slow cooker, just tempting you for eight hours straight. Yup. 8 whole hours of low and slow cooking. But trust me, that wait is worth it when you bite into a perfectly juicy and tender mouthful of Italian beef.
You can serve there on Italian rolls (or hot dog buns because I’m a savage and that’s all I had) or you can make it sans bread and plop it into a bowl like I did. Either way, make sure you have leftovers for lunch and for the freezer because this will quickly become a family favorite.
Now, let’s eat.
Slow Cooker Italian Beef- serves 8-10
Calories: 360 Total Fat: 27.05g Carbs: 2.53g Fiber: .6g Protein: 21.84g
- 2-3 pound beef chuck roast
- 1 tbsp ghee/avocado oil/olive oil/butter
- 1/2 cup beef/chicken/vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup pickle juice (yes, pickle juice)
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- a mix of green, red, and yellow bell peppers, sliced thin
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- optional (but delicious): pepperoncini or banana peppers to top
- Whisk together the broth and pickle juice and set aside.
- Rub the chuck roast with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Heat your fat of choice (I used ghee) in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear the roast on all sides until brown. Place the roast in a slow cooker and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
- Leave the skillet on and add the broth/pickle juice mixture to the pan. Bring to a boil and scrape up any of the little bits left behind. Pour this over the roast. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
- In the last half hour of cooking, open the slow cooker and carefully remove the roast and place in a large bowl. Use two forks to shred the roast. Return to the slow cooker and stir to combine everything. Cook for another 30 minutes.
- While the shredded beef is cooking, heat a little oil in a large pan. Saute the onion, garlic and bell peppers until soft and just starting to brown. Season with salt and pepper and a little Italian seasoning if you would like.
- To serve: Put Italian beef on rolls or in a bowl and then top with sauteed onions and peppers, pepperoncini/banana peppers, chopped parsley. Ladle some of the au jus (fancy word for juice) into a bowl and dip your sandwich right in. YUM!