Today’s sandwich is the “Hot & Spicy Italian Drip Beef.” It combines hot shredded beef and spicy peppers on a toasted sub roll with melted provolone cheese and a sidecar of spicy au jus for dipping.
Notes: This is one of the easiest recipes you’re ever going to read. It’s not even really a recipe. It’s not a technique, not even a strategy. It’s more of a philosophy, which can be summed up this way: Take a big chunk of beef, and cook it slowly with whatever hot pickled peppers you’ve got on hand, until the meat shreds apart into big chunks. Serve as a sandwich with plenty of melted cheese and a side of the cooking liquid for dipping. Or serve it over rice. Or as the foundation for nachos. Once you’ve got a big pot of spicy shredded beef in the fridge, the sky’s the limit.
A few additional notes:
If your refrigerator is anything like ours, you’ll have a few jars of leftover pickled peppers ranging in heat from mild to spicy. They can all go in the pot (although you can use the recipe below as a rough guideline), but you’ll want to be careful about how much of the pickling liquid you use. In general, I don’t add much of the liquid from the spiciest peppers, since you can always make things spicier. Making things milder is considerably trickier.
Also, this dish is best when it’s made the day before you want to serve it. Cook up a batch, cover, and put it in the fridge. The next day, you can remove the layer of solidified fat from the top of the pan, before returning it to the stove to reheat. The extra time in the fridge also seems to give the flavors a little extra time to meld and do their thing.
Make this. Start today, and you can eat it all weekend.
Hot & Spicy Italian Drip Beef Sandwiches
Serve 4-6; Adapted from a recipe by The Pioneer Woman
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 2.5 – 3 pound beef chuck roast
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 32 ounces beef stock
- 1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 jar (16 ounce) whole or sliced pepperoncinis, with liquid
- 1/2 jar (16 ounce) hot cherry peppers, drained and quartered
- 1 jar (4 ounces) diced pimentos
- 4-6 buttered, griddled rolls
- 8-12 slices provolone cheese
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season roast with salt and pepper. Sear roast on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer meat to plate and set aside.
Add beef stock, tomatoes, peppers, and pimentos to pan. Scrape bottom of pan to release all those tasty brown bits.
Stir to combine, then return the roast to the pot. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat begins to completely fall apart, about four hours.
Optional step: Let pot cool, and transfer to refrigerator. Chill overnight, then remove solidified layer of fat from the top of the pot. Return to stovetop to warm through.
Using two forks, shred the meat apart right in the cooking liquid.
To build each sandwich: top bottom of each toasted roll with some of the beef, then a layer of provolone cheese, then some of the peppers from the pot. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles, and serve with a side of the cooking liquid for dipping.