Slow-cooker Italian Beef and 2-day Chili

Slow-cooker Italian Beef

My Nana has made this Italian Beef as long as I can remember.  Whenever we would all get together, it was such a crowd pleaser.  She always served it on sesame seed hoagie buns with Asian Broccoli slaw (the kind you make using Ramen noodles) as a side.  

After I graduated college, 2 of my roommates were finishing their senior year.  I offered to host a graduation party at our house, and of course, consulted my Nana about the menu.  She is an expert at hosting large parties.   I served this recipe that day, and now it's a staple in my house.  It's super easy to do, and I love that I can have it ready when we get home at night without a lot of fuss.

What do you need?

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jar of Mezzetta's sliced peperoncinis, drain most of the liquid
  • 2 lb. English Chuck shoulder roast
  • 1 bottle of beer (the alcohol will cook out); if you prefer, you can also substitute 12-16 oz of beef stock
  • Italian seasoning
  • Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning (blend of sea salt, mustard seed, black peppercorns, coriander, onion, garlic, paprika and chili pepper) or substitute salt and pepper.  
 Ingredients for Slow-Cooker Italian Beef

Ingredients for Slow-Cooker Italian Beef

Step-By-Step:

  1. Line your slow-cooker with a BPA-free liners.  I promise clean up is so much easier!
  2. Add sliced onion to the bottom of the slow-cooker.
  3. Add the jar of peperoncinis to the slow-cooker.  
  4. Generously sprinkle both sides of the roast with Italian seasoning, and Trader Joe's Everyday seasoning.  If you don't have that seasoning, just substitute Salt and Pepper.  Place roast in slow-cooker.
  5. Pour the entire bottle of beer (or beef stock) over the roast.  
  6. Allow to cook on low all day, until roast shreds easily with a fork.
 Slow-Cooker Italian Beef

Slow-Cooker Italian Beef

Tips and Tricks:

  • If you are a fan of spicy food, add jalapeños to the slow-cooker
  • This recipe is perfect for a large crowd-just double it!
  • If you are being "good," serve over a crisp salad or a baked potato.  If you want to indulge a little, I use fresh bakery rolls, add the shredded beef and top with provolone cheese.  I  toast these sandwiches under the broiler for a few minutes.  
  • Save your leftover meat for 2-day chili! 

2-day Chili

It has been my mission to create a unique chili recipe.  I still am tweaking this recipe, and I'm never afraid to change it or make substitutes based on what I have on hand.  One day, Josh and I had way too much leftover from the Italian Beef I had made.  So, instead of having sandwiches again or topping a baked potato with it, I decided to use it in my chili recipe.  Y'all...it is delish!  There's something about having 2 different meats in a chili that I think give it an extra "wow" factor.

What do you need?

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Minced garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb. of lean, organic ground beef
  • Leftover Italian Beef, chopped as finely as possible 
  • 2 cans of Chili ready tomatoes, diced OR 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes for chili (don't worry about experimenting here)
  • 1 can of chopped green chilis (find it in the Mexican aisle)
  • 1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 2 cans of beans (red kidney beans, light red kidney beans, black beans or mix and match)
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • Carroll Shelby's Chili Kit (it comes with a spice mix, salt, cayenne pepper and masa flour you mix with 1/3 cup water to thicken your chili)
 Carroll Shelby's Easy Chili Kit

Carroll Shelby's Easy Chili Kit

Step-By-Step:

  1. Sauté the garlic and chopped onions in olive oil  Add your ground beef and brown until completely cooked.

  2. Line your slow-cooker with BPA-free liner.  Add the ground beef, the Italian beef and the rest of the ingredients (except the masa flour from the Chili Kit).

  3. Cook on low all day, or high for a few hours until ready to serve.  About 15-30 minutes prior to serving, add in the 1/3 c. water plus masa flour.  This mixture will thicken the chili.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Serve with toppings such as: cheese, avocado slices, jalapeños, and sour cream.
  2. Serve over Frito scoops, a baked potato, warm crusty bread, or cornbread muffins.