In case you didn't know, I LOVE to cook. There aren't many other things that make me as happy. Not many at all. As one of my favorite bloggers/cooks/ranching lady would say, "I'm just keepin' it real!"
So for my first foodie post, I thought I would go simple, yet scrum-dil-y-umptios! It is also a REALLY economical meal for a family- and we all know how important that is in days like we are livin'.
Italian Beef Sandwiches
here's what you'll need:
1 3-5lb rump or chuck tenderloin roast ( I have used both cuts with equally fantabulous results)
3 cups water
1 7 oz italian dressing seasoning packet
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
1 bay leaf
package of sliced provolone cheese
1 pack of split hoagie rolls
few TBSP butter
1 large onion
Got it? great! Let's go!
I wasn't thinking ahead about posting this recipe, so I kinda missed pictures of the first part, but I know you are all very intelligent people, and well, this isn't rocket science, so I am sure you can hang...
Get out your trusty 'ole crock pot. Sigh at how wonderful it is. Heave the roast into the crock.
Now, in a medium saucepan. (please don't use non-stick. I won't go into how bad nonstick is for you, and I too, once used them for all my cooking, but I can't stand to think of all the icky non-stick contamination so just don't use it. Thank you.)
Into the contaminate- free saucepan add all the seasoning and spices to the water and stir, then heat to a boil. Once boiling, pour over the meat, put on the lid, plug in the crockpot and set the cooker on low ( one would think this step was obvious, but I once ruined an entire blissful dinner opportunity because someone turned it on low, but forgot to plug it in. I won't name names because he would get mad at me, again)then, go enjoy the next 10-12 hours.
Oh, did I not mention this was an ALL day recipe? Hey, guess what?! This is an all day recipe! Cool, huh? :)
Not a big deal, it takes MAYBE 5 minutes to prep, and everything else is done 10 hours later. Anyone can do this before work, I promise- I have!
If you don't have 10-12 hours, or you don't remember to make this until after lunch, just crank it on high and cook for 4-5 hours. I can't help you if it is 6 pm...
Once the time is up, it is time to prep the onions and buns. You don't have to have onions, but you really have to have onions. Just trust me. Sauteed onions make everything better. Especially Italian Beef sandwiches.
so, heat up about 2 tbs butter in a cast iron skillet if you have one. If you aren't cool, and just have a regular one it'll work, I guess... ;)
Yay! time for the first pic! Here is how your onions should look when you put them in the skillet:
I am currently drooling.
Now, I try to use no higher than medium heat, so I don't burn them, but just cook them at a nice slow even pace. It probably took 10 minutes to get them to look the way I wanted.
Some people will stop when they just get translucent. They are missing all the sweet goodness that happens as they brown and the sugars inside come alive. I really think I might just eat a plateful of them when my onions in the garden are ready. yes, I am that weird. But you are the one reading about me...:)
Okay, once they are done, put the onions in a small bowl and keep warm. It is time to get back to the meat. Remove the roast from the pot and juices, and put it on a good sized platter.
Now, take 2 forks and just start pulling it apart. Joe likes some chunky pieces, and I like it more finely shredded, so I do a little of both. a 3 lb roast will give you enough for a hungry family- and even have leftover. Guess what I am taking for lunch tomorrow...?
Once it is all shredded, put it back with the juices. I should note that in this picture, it is obvious that this is NOT my crockpot.
I kinda forgot to start making this until around 2:30 on Saturday, so I took all of it out of the crock after 4 hours, cranked the oven to 400 and let it cook in there for about an hour. Worked like a charm.
Anywho, now I just heat maybe a half tbsp of butter in the same skillet I used for the onions and toast my hoagie. Joe likes his untoasted. You can be weird like him if you are worried about the fat in butter. I happen to know it is good for me, and I also like the crispiness of the roll. Whatever you think works is great.
So now you just slap some provolone, pile on the juicy beef, and top with some onions and more cheese, and you get this: (sorry about the dark pic.. taken on iphone after the sun had set)
this is happiness.
I hope you liked my first recipe! I will try to get more up here in the near future... Maybe I'll even use that Uber-expensive professional camera I have to take some decent photos. We'll see!
Let me know what you think if you make it!
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