Italian Beef Sandwiches-slow cooker

These are delicious! The beef is cooked all day and just falls apart. The very slightly hot peppers, the melty provolone cheese and the tomatoes makes this one tasty hot sandwich. Save some of the juice for dipping if you’d like.  This cooks for 8 hours which makes it ideal for a weeknight dinner also as it can stay on ‘warm’ for a while after cooking.

I put the roast in my slow cooker at about 10am on New Year’s Day. I didn’t really have any plans for the day except catching up on some DVR’d shows and doing some chores around the house and laundry but on a lazy day off it was nice to not have to worry about dinner and have such a delicious sandwich waiting for me.  It also reheats really well. I brought some left-overs to work the next day, put the roll in the toaster oven with a slice of cheese and nuked the beef. It was delicious!

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Italian Beef Sandwiches-Slow Cooker

Ingredients:

  • 1 3lb eye round roast (or chuck or rump)
  • 1 2oz packet Italian Dressing mix (dry)
  • 6 small Pepperoncini peppers
  • 1 cup low sodium low fat beef broth
  • 1 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Organic diced tomatoes w/italian herbs
  • Sliced provolone cheese
  • Butter
  • Rolls

Instructions:

  1. Put the roast into the cooker.
  2. In a bowl combine the dressing mix and broth and stir to combine.
  3. Pour the mix over the roast followed by the tomatoes.  Place the peppers into the broth around the roast.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. When the cooking is complete remove any pieces of fat from the beef or liquid and discard.
  6. Remove the roast from the liquid and set aside. Strain the liquid to remove any fat that may be left. Retain the strained liquid and tomatoes.
  7. Slice the rolls in half the long way.
  8. Heat a pan over medium/high heat. Melt a tbsp of butter and when foaming place the halves of as many rolls as can fit into the butter (interior side down). Weigh down with something (I used my tea pot) and cook until crisp. Remove from the pan and place provolone onto the bread and then top with some beef and tomatoes and cooking liquid if you’d like.
  9. Serve immediately.

As an alternate serve the cooking liquid in a small bowl along side the sandwich for dipping.

Adapted from thecountrycook.net

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Sausage, Peppers & Onions in the Slow Cooker

Sometimes you just want a nice big sandwich.  I found the original recipe on Melissa’s great blog http://iwasborntocook.com/ in the Top Posts of 2012 post and I immediately printed it out. I adapted it a bit with the cheese and rolls. Slow cooker on Sunday? Yes.  Sausage, onions and peppers on a roll? Yes. And I added the cheese.  Super easy, super yummy.  Would be great for football-watching days.

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Sausage, Onions & Peppers in the Slow Cooker

  • small amount of oil for browning
  • 3lbs Italian Sausage (I  used 2 lbs hot and 1 lb sweet but use any combo you’d like) cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 bell peppers, cut into thin strips (I used 2 red and 1 green)
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • sandwich rolls (mine were hot dog sized from Hot & Crusty). You’ll need substantial rolls to hold up to the sauce and contents.
  • provolone cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet heat a bit of the oil and brown the sausage on all sides. (This may have to be done in batches) Then place sausage in slow cooker.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for at least 4 hours.
  4. Half rolls, place cheese on either one or both sides, and toast until the cheese melts.  Spoon sausage mixture onto rolls and enjoy.

Note: my slow cooker is a 5qt and it was just about to the top of the insert so if you have a smaller cooker I’d make less.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed peppers is one of my Husband’s favorites so when I came across the recipe for Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers  I decided to make them. I guess I’ve never made stuffed peppers before.  Anyway-while there were a few different steps to this recipe it was easy overall and the end product was really, really good.  I did end up with stuffing left over so I could have made probably 2 more peppers with it.

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 medium red, yellow or orange bell peppers (about 6 oz each). 1/2 inch trimmed off of the top, cores and seeds removed.

1/2 cup long-grain white rice

1.5 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)

12 ozs lean ground beef

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, drained, 1/4 cup liquid reserved

6ozs Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated (not pre-grated bagged)

1/4 cup ketchup

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat to 350.

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tbsp salt and bell peppers. Cook until peppers just begin to soften-about 3 minutes (make sure the peppers are covered with water). Using a slotted spoon remove peppers, draining any excess water back into the pot, and place on paper towels.

Return water in the pot to a boil, add rice and boil it until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain rice and place it in a large bowl.

Heat oil in a 12 inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown-about 5 minutes.  Add the beef and cook, breaking beef into small pieces with spoon, until no longer pink.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the mixture to the bowl with the rice, stir in tomatoes, 1 cup cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir together ketchup and reserved tomato juice in a small bowl.

Place peppers cut-sides up in a 9in. square baking dish.  Using a small spoon fill each pepper evenly with the beef and rice mixture, pressing it down inside the peppers so that you can get the most possible filling inside.  Spoon 2 tablespoons ketchup mixture into the top of each filled pepper and then sprinkle each with 1 tbsp cheese. 

Bake until cheese is browned and filling is heated through 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24464.Here_in_America_s_Test_Kitchen

 

Peperonata

What a delicious combination of onion, red pepper and tomato. I made this on Sunday morning and put it in the fridge to cool and then was invited to a friends house for some wine and apps.  I brought some with me and it was great chilled and put onto toasted pita wedges.  This can be served warm, cold or at room temperature and is so versatile! Put it on a sandwich or on a cracker or eat as a side salad…the list goes on an on. Such a fresh refreshing little salad.

Peperonata (Braised Sweet Peppers, Tomatoes and Onions)

Ingredients:

  • 1lb (500g) red bell peppers (capsicums), stems, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup (2fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tomatoes, seeds removed and coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cut the bell peppers into 2 inch squares. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the peppers, olive oil, onion and bay leaves and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened and have released their juices-about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer gently until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

Serve warm or chilled.

Slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma Florence cookbook.