Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches

While all the other food bloggers are showering you in sweet, chocolate-y dessert treats for Valentine’s Day, I am showering you in beef recipes. Well, just one. (But you can find 55 more here!)


I tried out Cooking Light’s Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches recipe recently and it knocked my socks (and the huz’s socks) off – so this is my Valentine’s Day gift to you, dear readers: tasty beef sandwich pictures. Enjoy, loves!


This also happens to be a crock pot recipe. The primary liquid used in this recipe is white vinegar, and a 1/2 cup of it at that – which scared me, because I am not a fan of vinegar stank! I did not want a house full of vinegar stank all day. Way to kill the Valentine’s Day mood. But have no fear. At least in my case, my just smelled like savory delicious beefiness as my roast stewed away in the crock pot all day – no acrid vinegar smell. It just smelled like feet, due to our lack of socks.

So to get things started, load up the base of your crock pot with vinegar, spices, and peppers. Cooking Light’s recipe called for broiler-charred raw banana peppers as well, but I simply omitted them (seemed like too much work to me!) and used a couple extra scoops of jarred, pre-sliced pickled pepperoncini peppers (those neon yellow peppers in the Olive Garden salads!).


Next, get a nice heavy skillet “screamin’ hot,” as they said (not sure who “they” are… Rachael Ray, probably), coat with cooking spray, and sear all sides of a 2 1/4 pound beef chuck roast until browned.


My enameled cast iron skillet was a Christmas gift this year! I am still getting used to it (read: I wimped out and didn’t get it hot enough) and so my sear wasn’t as intense as I’d have hoped, but that will come with practice!


Place the seared chuck roast atop vinegar and spices, and, Cooking Light instructs to cook on low for 8 hours. I actually cooked mine on low for 6.5 hours and it was completely tender and falling apart at that point.P1130457

Remove the beef from the pot, shred with two forks, then add it back to the liquid and peppers mixture. Season with salt.


Serve the shredded beef atop toasted sandwich rolls, and top with extra pepperoncini peppers, if desired. I found a bag of “steakhouse rolls” from the bakery section of my grocery store and they were fabulous.


In my opinion, Crispy Rosemary Oven Fries are the perfect side dish for this recipe. Giving the sliced potatoes a quick ten minute soak in hot water prior to roasting is the trick to crispy oven fries! Find the full instructions here.

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These sandwiches are sure to please your Valentine! I highly recommend serving the sammies au jus, that is, with a small cup of the cooking liquid left in the bottom of your crock pot, for dipping.

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My rating: 8.6/10

Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches

Mildly adapted from Cooking Light

  • 3 banana peppers [optional; or substitute extra pepperoncini peppers]
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 bottled pepperoncini peppers, chopped [I found pre-sliced at my grocery store!]
  • 2 1/4 pounds chuck roast, trimmed and halved
  • 8 sandwich rolls, toasted
  1. Optional: Preheat broiler. Arrange peppers on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 6 minutes or until blackened in spots, turning occasionally. Place peppers in a 6-quart electric slow cooker.
  2. Add vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper to slow cooker; stir to combine. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and chopped pepperoncini.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place beef in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or until beef is very tender. Remove beef from cooker; shred with 2 forks. Stir beef and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into cooking liquid. Divide beef mixture evenly among sandwich rolls, spooning out with a slotted spoon. Serve any extra sauce for dipping.

5 thoughts on “Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches

  1. Seriously, was just thinking about Italian beef sandwiches today. Going next week to where they (and I) come from – Chicago. I’m hoping to have them 4x a day. Authentic ones are razor thin sliced, heavily spiced, and served on a hearty Italian roll with spicy jardiniere The bread is vital as the sandwiches are assembled and then dipped in the juices/broth. Regular bread or buns will fall apart.

    This takes liberties with the sandwich, but sounds really good nonetheless!!

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