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Mom’s Italian Beef Sandwiches

My mom made the best Italian beef. I’ve added to it over the years, but it’s still her recipe. She made these sandwiches for family reunions, and there were never leftovers. —Mary McVey, Colfax, North Carolina
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 8 hours
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1 boneless beef rump roast or bottom round roast (2 pounds), halved
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (2 pounds), halved
  • 1 beef sirloin tip roast (1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 envelopes Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1 envelope zesty Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1 envelope (0.87 ounce) brown gravy mix
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 16 hoagie buns, split
  • Sliced provolone cheese, optional
  • Giardiniera, optional


  • In a large skillet, brown each roast in oil on all sides. Drain. Transfer meat to a 7-qt. slow cooker. Combine the water, onion, garlic, salad dressing and gravy mixes, pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and Worcestershire sauce; pour over beef. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Remove beef; cool slightly. Skim fat from cooking juices. Pour juices into a large bowl. Shred beef with 2 forks; add to bowl. Using a slotted spoon, place 1/2 cup on each bun. Top with cheese and giardiniera if desired.
    Freeze option: Cool meat and juices; transfer to freezer containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Place in a Dutch oven; heat through. Using a slotted spoon, place 1/2 cup on each bun. Top with cheese and giardiniera if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 sandwich (calculated without cheese and giardiniera): 450 calories, 16g fat (5g saturated fat), 89mg cholesterol, 969mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 1g fiber), 37g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Jennifer
    Oct 19, 2020

    This was fricking AMAZING! I made it for a dinner party and there literally was nothing left. I make it on special occasions when I want to impress my family and friends. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  • Cheryl
    Aug 28, 2019

    I didn't use all the types of roasts. Just chuck roasts and sirloin tip roast. This was a hit at a family potluck dinner this summer.

  • Mjaz62
    Jul 28, 2019

    Giving a 5-star review to counteract the 1-star given by someone who clearly didn't bother to even try it, but is some kind of sandwich snob, . I think it sounds lovely and will try it at my next opportunity.

  • Heinz
    Jun 21, 2019

    First of all, you don't need 3 different types of meat! a good Top Round BBQ'd will do just fine. Slice it thin, don't chop it, it's not a Cheese Steak. This is a Chicago stable, but not This abomination. Au Jus is a must, also Girardiniera! Sorry, would not make this, waste of time and money!

  • kiki61
    Jan 26, 2016

    This is excellent! I decreased the crushed red peppers to 1 Tbs as my family goes easy on spicy foods, and it was still zippy! I will definitely make this again!

  • nadinastarr
    Jul 19, 2015

    Made this for dinner today as I did not want to cook. I made this with garlic powder instead and I only used 1 T red pepper, it was still too much for my mom and myself. I will leave it out completely next time. I will also increased the Italian seasonings and the dressings next time as there was little flavor from them. I also did not use the rolls, so we had ours on plain bread. My dad wants me to make it again for him with jalapenos, pepperchinis and possibly cheese. I have a lot left over, so it will be portioned and frozen shortly!! It will probably make another 2 meals!

  • julzrulz9
    Sep 26, 2013

    I liked these sandwiches but I did not love them. I just feel that there is probably a better version of this recipe out there somewhere, they were missing something I can't put my finger on. I probably won't make them again but I definitely didn't hate them. Sorry I can't be more specific than that lol

  • dfaulkner1031
    Oct 22, 2012

    This is definitely a keeper!! I halved the recipe since I was trying it for the first time. Cut all ingredients in half and cooked it for 6 hours in the crock pot. My boyfriend is usually not a fan of chuck roasts, but he loved this recipe. I just made it yesterday and he asked if I can make it again next weekend! It was delicious.

  • docdi
    Oct 15, 2012

    In general, I feel that most slow cooker recipes are either bland or they all taste the same. THIS RECIPE PROVED ME WRONG! Couldn't get enough of this one. Not only were people getting seconds, but thirds! Unbelievably delicious. This one's definitely a KEEPER!!!

  • Solterra
    Sep 20, 2012

    Does anyone know, if I cut the recipe in half, would I still cook it for the same amount of time? It sounds wonderful, but my crockpot is not that big? Thanks for any help.