Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Slow-Cooker Italian Giardiniera Beef Sandwiches

Where has this sandwich been all my life?!  Honestly the single only thing that I would change about this beef sandwich, is not having thought of it sooner.  I could have sworn that my Mom had told me that she does her beef sandwiches in her slow-cooker with a jar of giardiniera.  And this was maybe about a couple of months ago.  Well, since then I have thought about it on and off and finally decided to give it a go here at our home.  So, I went to the market and bought all of the ingredients that I wanted to use and gave my Mom a call cause I was really starting to second guess the combination myself.  I was really afraid that it would be way too greasy from the oil of the giardiniera.  Well, I got her on the phone and asked her again how she did hers this way and of course, I was mistaken.  She had said that she uses a whole jar of pepperchini's and their juice to make hers, not giardiniera.  Now, since the apple does not fall far from the tree on it's own, it is up to debate on whether I misheard her (very very possible for me) or if she meant pepperchini's and accidentally said giardiniera (I would and can not pass this one up, that is so her for as far back as I can remember and because of that I smile when I think about it).  Either way, someway somehow, I heard someone at some point say that they used giardiniera to make their beef sandwiches.  So, anyhow, I did it.  And it was phenomenal.  It was so full of flavor and such an amazing texture.  This cut of a beef roast pulls down perfectly.  All of the fat (which there was not much to start with) melts down cooking it this low and slow and for the full length of time.  And the exterior of the roast browns and crisps up from the oil in the jar of giardiniera.  It really did taste and look as though I had seared it prior to placing in my slow-cooker even though I did not (forgot to honestly).  I don't know for sure, but I can say that probably 98% of you that try this one out is gonna check it off as a keeper.  Maybe even your new favorite just like me.
1- 3 1/2-4lb. beef top round roast (perfect texture of a cut for these sandwiches)
1 tall jar of giardiniera (liquid and all- I used mild, but there is also medium and hot too)
1/2 lb. of thickly sliced deli provolone cheese
12 French bread rolls (I used Milano rolls)
real un-salted butter (softened)
garlic salt

-Place your beef roast in your slow-cooker.  Pour the entire bottle of giardiniera over the top of the roast and cover with the lid.  Set your slow-cooker to go Low and slow for 8-10 hours (I went 10 and it was amazingly tender and very easy to shred).  Once it is done, go ahead and preheat your oven to 350* (for toasting the bread).  Cut the wrapping strings that are tied around the roast, remove and discard them.  Using two large forks, shred the roast into long thin strips and then mix it well with the juices and the giardiniera veggies.  Cover two large baking sheets with some aluminum foil.  Slice your french breads in half lengthwise, but not quite all the way through the back edge.  Lay them out flat on the foil-lined baking sheets, open side facing up.  Spread the tops with a thin even layer of butter all the way to the edges and give them all a healthy sprinkle of garlic salt.  Toss them into your oven and bake at 350* for 5 minutes.  Then place two slices of the provolone cheese on top of each one and return them back to the oven for 1-2 more minutes (to just melt the cheese).  Once the cheese is melted, remove them from the oven.  Fill them with the shredded beef and veggies (I made sure to let the juices drip off the meat some before filling them into the buns so they didn't get overly soggy).  Serves 10-12.  Enjoy!

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