Tonight’s Dinner…Italian Shredded Beef Sandwiches and Two Hour No Knead Bread!!

wp-15864514069011172856561217537821.jpgTonight’s menu was supposed to be Taco Casserole…one of my kids all-time favorites, but yesterday all that changed.  Had to go to Sam’s to get some supplies for a wedding cake I have to bake next week.  My daughter-in-law asked if I could pick up a chuck roast for her and they only come two in a package.  So tonight that’s what it’s gonna be!You really want a well-marbled chuck roast as that makes for a very tender, juicy piece of meat. My roast weighed in at about 2 3/4#.  That will make enough shredded beef for about 6 nice sized sandwiches.  Since we are only three adults and one mini-kid right now, we will have some left over for another meal!

These are the pantry herbs I used in my recipe.  I used to have a lot of fresh herbs, but those days are behind me for now. The jar labeled “Rougaroux” is my own blend of all-purpose seasoning that I use like a low-salt Creole/Cajun Seasoning!!  Use whatever you like.

Cut your roast into about 5 large chunks, slice the onions in thin strips and the carrots and Bell Peppers, too.  I like to use Red Bell Peppers but today I only had green….tip:  Use what you have first!  Notice the 4 large cloves of peeled fresh garlic; leave the garlic cloves whole.  I also had 4 cups of really good homemade beef stock but a carton,  jarred soup base, or bouillon granules will work, too.


wp-15863816434938675776225219611409.jpgMelt some Bacon Drippings (my fave) or some olive or vegetable oil in a heavy skillet.

Season the cubed roast as desired.



wp-15863817504295812475203397995468.jpgWhen the oil is hot, sear the meat chunks until well browned.  Place the browned meat in your slow cooker.

To the pan drippings, stir-fry the veggies until they get some good color and start to soften. Put this on top of the browned meat cubes in the slow cooker.

Use your stock of choice to deglaze the skillet.   Add all remaining dried herbs and seasonings and allow to simmer two minutes. 

wp-15863817891775914189158982867388.jpg Pour this mixture over the contents of the slow cooker. NOTE:  This can be simmered on top of the stove in a Dutch Oven until meat is tender ( about 2-3 hours) or in a Pressure Cooker for 50 minutes.wp-15863818150443400595304331425046.jpg

Cover and cook on High for 1 hour and then reduce heat and cook for 4  hours on low.

Remove the meat and the veggies from the slow cooker.  Separate out the meat, remove any fat or gristle that remains, and shred with two forks.  Strain the stock and return the shredded meat and broth to the cooker and leave on warm setting until ready to serve. 

Chiqui Note:  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the beef after I shredded it, but it was a big pile!! Also the broth is very thin.  If your family likes more of a “gravy” you can thicken the broth  by dissolving a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch in a 1/4 cup of cold water.  Have the broth on high and slowly whisk in the cornstarch until well blended.  Cook until the gravy is thickened.  Then add with the meat to the slow cooker to keep warm until serving.

Chiqui Note:  In the original recipe it calls for a Jarred Giardinara (Pickled Vegetable Mix), Mezzetta is my favorite brand.  I used it the first time I made this recipe and it was wonderful.  I added half the jar to the meat as it was cooking and the other half of the jar to make the Aioli.  Loved it so much, but I didn’t have any today.

Italian Slow Cooker Beef Sandwiches with Giardiniera Aioli

Chiqui Collier                                             Yield :6- 8 sandwiches


 3 -4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, quartered (choose one that is well marbled with fat if possible)

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced (Or chopped fine if kids prefer not to see onions)

1 red or green Bell Pepper, thinly sliced Julienne

2 cloves garlic, chopped 

2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning

2 tablespoons Lea & Perrins

1 Fresh Bay Leaf (Or dried but still green!)

1 teaspoon each Oregano and Thyme

Lemon pepper to taste

Roogaroux Seasoning to taste OR Paul’s Seafood Magic OR Tony’s  low salt seasoning (optional)


3 cups beef broth


1 large egg (room Temperture)

2 cloves garlic, finely grated 

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

1/2 cup vegetable oil 

1/2 jar of Marzetti’s Pickled Giardinara

2 tablespoons of the pickling liquid from Giardinara

2 heaping tablespoons Jarred Marinara Sauce

Salt and Lemon-pepper to taste

I also like to add a pinch of sugar but this is optional.


Provalone cheese, thinly sliced or any desired cheese


Four  8-12 inch loaves French bread, halved crosswise, split and lightly toasted 


Italian Seasoning: Make your own or any commercial blend is ok.

3 tablespoons dried basil

3 tablespoons dried marjoram 

3 tablespoons dried oregano 

3 tablespoons dried parsley 

1 tablespoon granulated garlic 

1 teaspoon dried rosemary 

1 teaspoon dried thyme 

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

  1. For the beef: In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of Olive oil. Wipe the chuck roast with a paper towel. Season well with Lemon-pepper, a little salt and some granulated garlic.  Cut the roast in four large pieces and sear well on both sides until well browned.  Place meat in the Slow Cooker.  Into the same skillet where the chuck roast was browned, add the green or red bell pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and some lemon-pepper. This is when uou can add a little Tony’s if desired.And cook until the onions are slightly caramelized.  Pour this on top of the meat in slow cooker. Add the beef broth, bay leaf and the Lea & Perrins and cover.  Cook on the high setting for 1 hour.   Reduce setting to low and let cook 4 ½ hours longer until beef is falling apart. Use a ladle to remove some of the excess fat from the surface, then coarsely shred the beef with two forks. Remove any pieces of fat or sinue. Taste Season with salt and pepper if needed.


  1. For the aioli: Place the egg, garlic and Dijon in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the drained Giardinara and the reserved liquid and the Marinara sauce. Blend on high to combine well.  With the motor running, add the olive oil and vegetable oil in a very slow steady stream until it is all incorporated. Taste for seasoning. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  2. Split open the bread rolls, spread about 2 tablespoons of the aioli on both sides of the bread and then place one to two slices of your cheese of choice on one side of the bread, Place in a 375* oven and toast long enough to melt the cheese.  Using a slotted spoon,  make sandwiches with the shredded beef. Serve immediately.  You and place extra dripping in a little cup to dip your sandwich in to turn it into a “French Dip style sandwich!

Note* Homemade Aioli (Mayonnaise)  has a short shelf life, although the raw egg gets “cooked” by the vinegar in the mustard and the pickling juices.  If you prefer, Just use a good  Mayonnaise like Hellman’s or Dukes and add all the seasonings and eliminate the oil.  I would only add about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to get the richness of flavor!  Raw egg Aioli will stay good for a week or two.  Aioli made with commercial mayo, good for a month!

Italian Seasoning:

Yield: 11 tablespoons

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the basil, marjoram, oregano, parsley, granulated garlic, rosemary, thyme and red pepper flakes. Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.


I didn’t have any French Bread Rolls either so I tried a recipe I have been wanting to make for a long time.

Two Hour No Knead Bread!  It delivered as promisedSimple. few ingredients and ready after 2 hours!!  


  • 3 cups (390 gm) bread flour or all purpose flour (AERATE FLOUR BEFORE MEASURING) (I used all-purpose flour)
  • 2 TEASPOONS instant or Rapid Rise yeast (1 packet/7 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water (up to 130° F)
  • (about 2 Tablespoons extra flour for shaping)
  1. Combine flour, 2 teaspoons yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Mix together with a wire whisk.  Stir in water with a wooden spoon until it’s well combined.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  3. After 40 minutes, place a 3 to 6-quart Dutch oven with lid in a cold oven and preheat to 450° F.  I didn’t have one so I used an iron skillet and placed a dutch oven over it as a lid.  Worked great!
  4. After the dough has rested for the hour, place it on a well-floured surface and sprinkle with a little flour. Using a scraper fold dough over 10-12 times & shape into a rough ball.
  5. Place in a parchment paper-lined bowl (not wax paper) and cover with a towel or another bowl. Let stand on counter top for 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes, carefully, using oven gloves, lift the parchment paper with the dough and transfer gently into the hot pot. (the dough sits inside a parchment “basket” inside the pot). Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove lid.  Return, uncovered, to oven and bake 10 – 15 more minutes. Let it cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.


The Bread was crusty with a fluffy “Dense Crumb”.  I let it cool completely before slicing and it was NOT easy to slice so my son made thick slices.  I ate mine like an opened face sandwich and found the bread pretty chewy!  

I have another recipe that is an “overnight” rise in the fridge that I prefer and will make it a post of it’s own!  All in all a good, tasty dinner!


Bon Appetit……….until next time