Sunday, September 22, 2013

Italian Roast Beef

Elvis's Italian Beef Sandwiches

I LOVE a great Italian beef sandwich. Best one I ever had was at Union Station in Chicago. They actually had a lot of great food there, which was surprising for a train hub. You'd think they would only sell vending machine, gas station sandwich type grub!
I got some pretty good rump roasts on sale for $2.39 a pound, and they get nice & tender after spending several hours in the crock pot...perfect for Italian beef sandwiches!

First off, you need a crock pot. This little beauty has been with me for over 25 years now and I've used it a TON. I actually got a crock pot from my parents when I moved into my first apartment after graduating from college. I mostly used it to make chili and other soups. About a year later, while moving to another place, the crockpot went missing. I didn't have many things at that time, and I'm guessing somebody swiped it out of the trunk of my car while I was hauling things in. So this was the replacement crock, and it's been with me ever since.

Old Faithful

Alright....let's make some Italian Beef sandwiches!  Or as we call them..."Elvis Italian Beef Sandwiches".  Here are the ingredients...a 3-4 pound beef rump roast, a sweet Vidalia onion, some of my secret seasoning (a mixture of seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery's great on beef OR chicken!), and some Italian Giardiniera. We get the Giardiniera at an Italian grocery store. It consists of some chopped veggies & peppers packed in some oil. You can get Hot or Mild.  The hot is VERY hot. We like a mix of the 2 for a "sorta hot" Giardiniera. And along the way, Jo started calling it "Jordanaire".  That's the name of Elvis's backup singers, so it became "Elvis Italian Beef Sandwiches"!    

A rump roast is a pretty lean piece of meat, but I still like to trim the thin fat-cap off the side. This thing has plenty of "juice" without that extra fat.

Trim some fat

Now, let's slice it a little so the seasonings & juices can get in all the parts of the roast for the best flavor! I like to slice down to the bottom, leaving just enough connected at the bottom of the roast to hold it together. When done, it will fan out like an accordian.

Now, into the crock pot. Fits very nicely!

Let's add the seasoning. Just shake (or sprinkle) it on. Make sure to get it down in each of the slices!

Slice the onion nice & thin. We love onion on our sandwiches, so we use the whole onion. You could certainly use less.

Put the onion on top of the roast...

Crock pot on "High" for a 6-hour cook, "Low" for an 8-10 hour cook. We're hungry, so we'll go with "High"!

Oops! Forgot an ingredient for the "ingredient picture"! I like to add a package of Au Jus mix. You'll find it at the store amongst the gravy & sauce mixes. Just whisk up the contents of the package with a couple cups of water.

Now, let's add the Elvis topping! Peppers, celery, carrot, olives, a little oil...the tasty Giardiniera! This gives great flavor when cooking, and a tasty topping for the finished product!

Pour the Au Jus over the roast...
...and let that roast cook for several hours, until fall-apart tender.

6 or 7 hours later...

Slice up some hoagie buns, wrap them in foil, and warm them up in a 350-degree oven for about 5 minutes. Nice, soft, warm, slightly steamed hoagie, ready for some delicious filling! Line the bottom of the hoagie with sliced provolone cheese, then top with beef, onion, and Giardiniera.

How about a little more cheese??? I sprinkled a little pizza cheese on top! And don't forget to add some of the "juice" so it can soak into the bun!

"Elvis Italian Beef Sandwiches"....great for dinner or during those football weekends. And the leftovers freeze great! Just pack up all the beef, juice, and veggies in a plastic container and put in the freezer for another time.  Enjoy, and "Viva Italian Beef Sandwiches"!!!