Pressure Cooker Italian Beef

It’s just like crockpot Italian beef, only faster.  I’m liking my Instapot cooker more and more.  It’s the only way I make stock these days – just pile in the bones and odds and ends of celery and carrots and what-not with water and give it an hour on the timer and you’re golden.

Anyway back to the beef – sear a good chunk of that on sale chuck or what have you, cover it with some of your stock, add a couple of coarsely chopped onions, a handful of garlic, Italian seasonings (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley), and a jar of pickled pepperoncini.  The peppers are not as important as the juice.  You can add some red pepper flake to spice it up.  I set the timer for 75 minutes – it was easily shreddable when done,I baked some rolls to go with the beef.  I’ve been using the reliable KA bun recipe for several years now.  My hamburger buns usually turn out better looking than these hoagie type rolls but I’m working on that.Bonus Bea pic!


Meatballs!  I followed this recipe, mostly.  Quantities in the recipe were for 1 lb. of meat – I went with 1 lb. of ground beef and 1 lb. of Italian sausage and scaled the amounts accordingly.  I’ve no idea what locatelli cheese is so these were made with Parmesan.They were browned in the toaster oven before going into the sauce.I like then over spaghetti with more grated Parmesan and ribbons of basil.  I may do some meatball subs today with the rolls I baked the other day:I had planned to smoke a pork shoulder but when the big chunk of meat was thawed it turned out to be beef.  I resorted to the crockpot and made a batch of Italian beef.  My recipe is to slice a bunch of onions, mince a lot of garlic, add beef or chicken broth, red wine, bay leaves, dried basil and oregano, more granulated garlic and onion, and salt and ground black pepper.  Open a jar of pepperoncini and dump them all in – with the juice.  Some red pepper flakes work well but are optional.  Put all of that stuff in with the beef and give it 8 hours or so on high.  Proper Chicago style Italian beef is made with thin sliced beef but I don’t do it that way because I don’t keep a deli slicer out on the counter.  Mine is more like pulled pork:Here’s a quick lunch we had the other day before I baked the rolls, the little buns are a par-baked item Kroger carries, just pop them into the toaster oven for a few minutes and they made credible slider buns.Here we go with a full sized sammich.  I like them dipped but if you dip the whole sammich it becomes a race to finish it before it falls apart.  A little bowl of juice on the side overcomes that problem.Lest you think it’s all meat and carbs around here, Mrs J cuts up a sweet yellow watermelon.

Sammich Pr0n – Crockpot Italian Beef

We’ve been noshing on this for a few days now.  I’ve found the best way to serve these is to put a gob of meat straight from the fridge into a small bowl and nuke it for a minute or so.  Fork the beef onto a bun and leave the bowl as an au jus dip.

Sammich Pr0n – Italian Beef

DSC_1296 (1600x1060)I had a bit of an uh-oh! moment yesterday when Mrs J came up from the basement saying, “The freezer door was open all night.”.  Oops!  I was the last one in there, pretty sure.  The freezer soldiered on and we didn’t lose anything but there was a heavy frost all over everything and a couple of beef roasts had thawed.  We put the freezer aright and decided to crockpot the beef.  It’s one of those easy recipes – add plenty of onions, garlic, a good dose of Italian seasonings, enough broth to mostly cover the meat and let it do its thing all night.

The roll is one of eight that came out of the King Arthur buns recipe.  They were pretty long, ten would have been a good number.  I have better luck shaping round buns than I do longer rolls of this sort.

Crockpot Italian Beef

DSC_0816 (1600x1060)I started this last night and let it go till this morning.  Here it is after the beef roast was pulled apart.  Chicago area purists will decry this kind of prep, insisting the beef has to be sliced rather than pulled but after spending the night cooking in all the liquid it just isn’t practicable to do it that way.  There are two onions in there, a handful of garlic cloves, several bay leaves, dried oregano, basil, garlic salt and garlic powder, two cans of beef broth, a generous slug of Marsala (there was a bottle right there on the counter, so what the hey, eh?).  Also, I dumped in the juice and a few pepperoncini that were left in an old jar, highly recommended addition!DSC_0825 (1600x1060)It’s best to serve these with plenty of juice.  It’ll be a mess to eat but there isn’t any shame in using a fork.  I’ve never had one of these in any of the classic Chicago eateries but I understand they will dip the whole sammich in juice if you want it that way.  I just ladled extra over this one with a spoon.DSC_0619 (1600x1060)These homemade rolls were perfect.  I baked these a while back and froze them, waiting for a good place to use them.

Bread Pr0n – Soft Hoagie Rolls

DSC_0389 (1600x1060)I have some Italian beef working for lunch and need proper rolls to put together sandwiches.  These are from that King Arthur bun recipe and I have high hopes for them in this role.  The recipe is for eight buns, I divided it into six parts and the rolls are pretty big.  These are fresh from the oven and just brushed with the melted butter and they smell wonderful!