Hot & Spicy Italian Drip Beef (Homemade)

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.

Hot & Spicy Italian Style Drip Beef Sandwich

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.

Hot & Spicy Italian Style Drip Beef Sandwich

Add beef stock, tomatoes, peppers, and pimentos to pan. Scrape bottom of pan to release all those tasty brown bits.

Hot & Spicy Italian Style Drip Beef Sandwich

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.

Hot & Spicy Italian Style Drip Beef Sandwich

Using two forks, shred the meat apart right in the cooking liquid.

Hot & Spicy Italian Style Drip Beef Sandwich

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.


Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road." He currently owns and operates the Ancho Honey restaurant in Maine.


  1. I made this this past weekend – I had a chuck roast from a friend- grass fed, raised by her dad. I held her horse for the horse shoer and she gave me the roast in exchange for doing that. I made it in the crockpot, and used a can of Hunt’s tomatoes with spicy red peppers. It was SOOO good. My husband gave it his highest rating for ‘food things’. He’s so eloquent, I know.

  2. This is the best recipe I’ve found for a good spicy Italian drip beef sammie and it does NOT disappoint! So easy and one of the only recipes I haven’t altered in some way. Do yourself a favor and make these tonight!

  3. This sounds yummy and easy – two things I look for in a recipe, because I’m (A) hungry and (2) lazy. Also, I’m a dummy in the kitchen with a knack for screwing up recipes. Just so I’m clear, do you mean eight (8) ounces (half of a 16 oz jar) of each of the peppers; or, do you mean 16 ounces (half of a 32 oz jar)?

  4. We enjoyed our first Italian Beef in a small Illinois town with an adorable Main Street. The restaurant is still there but we’re miles from Illinois. This sandwich is very similar and so simple, thank you for sharing! Definitely let sit overnight. Recipe is a keeper!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.