Monday, January 3, 2022

Italian Shredded Beef Sandwiches

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Last week I saw a bunch of Italian beef sandwiches on Instagram, so when I saw a pretty Certified Angus Beef® Brand chuck roast at Food City this weekend, I knew exactly what I was going to make for New Years Day.

Italian beef sandwich on the Big Green Egg featuring Certified Angus Beef from Food City
Braised shredded beef with pepperoncini, Provolone, and Chicago-style giardiniera on a toasted hoagie roll, how can you go wrong with that?

These babies are fantastic! The tender braised beef is so luscious that it could be overbearing if not for the piquant vinegary veggies on there. The vinegar balances the rich fatty beef much like a Carolina vinegar sauce balances luscious smoked pork butt. The smooth melted Provolone brings it all together.

I won't call this "authentic" since I'm not an authority on Italian beef by any stretch of the imagination. But I will tell you these sandwiches are powerfully delicious with their robust and vibrant flavors. 

Almost every recipe I looked at calls for a crockpot for 8-10 hours, but you know that isn't going to fly with me. I made ours in a Dutch oven on the grill for the ultimate flavor experience.

Italian Shredded Beef cooked on a Dutch oven on the grill
Tender and beefy with the bite of acid and peppers, we did a lot of "quality control sampling" before the Italian beef ever hit any bread.

Here's what we did. 

Italian Beef Shredded Sandwiches

Published 01/03/2022

A crockpot classic that we cooked in the Dutch oven instead. It features tender, savory roast beef with giardiniera, pepperoncini, and Provolone on hoagie rolls.


  • 3 pounds Certified Angus Beef® Brand chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons high-temperature cooking oil (peanut, avocado, etc.)
  • 12 ounces Chicago sandwich-style giardiniera, divided
  • 12 ounces sliced pepperoncini, divided
  • 1 packet Zesty Italian dressing mix
  • beef stock (see instructions Step 3, about 2-3 cups but it varies)
  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 16 slices Provolone, ultra-thin sliced


  1. Preheat a grill set up for indirect heat to 350°f. Preheat a cast-iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Sear the chuck roast. Lightly coat the roast with 1 tablespoon of oil and use the other one to lightly coat the bottom of the Dutch oven. Sear the roast for 5 minutes on the first side. Flip and sear for 2 minutes on the other side, and then remove the Dutch oven from heat.
  3. Braise the roast. Sprinkle the roast with the Italian dressing mix. Add 8 ounces giardiniera and 8 ounces pepperoncini around the roast and some on top of it as well. Pour enough beef stock into the Dutch oven so that the liquid comes up between 1/2 and 2/3rd the height of the roast. Cover with a lid and place in the grill. Cook until the roast is fork-tender and hits an internal temperature above 200°f, about 3 hours.
  4. Shred the beef. Use two large forks to shred the beef in the Dutch oven. Cover and return to the smoker until the fat is all rendered about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Toast the hoagie rolls. Place the rolls on a small quarter-sheet pan and top each with 2 slices of Provolone. Place under the broiler until the bread turns golden brown, and the cheese melts.
  6. Build the sandwich. Top each sandwich with about 1/4th of the beef & veggie mixture. Top with 2 more slices of cheese, 1 ounce of giardiniera, and 1 ounce of sliced pepperoncini.
  7. Broil the open-faced sandwich. Place the assembled hoagies on a quarter-sheet pan and place them under the broiler until the cheese is melted, about 1-2 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.

Cook time: 04 hrs. 15 mins.

Total time: 4 hrs. 30 mins.

Tags: beef

After a week of unseasonably warm temperatures, temps were falling, and snow was on its way, perfect for slow-cooking beef! 

Set up for using a Dutch oven on the Big Green Egg
I used a Lodge #12 camp-style Dutch oven, which means it has these legs to sit above the hot coals when placed in a campfire. When it comes to grilling in a kamado grill, these legs are perfect for holding the Dutch oven off the heat diffuser (in this case, a cast-iron platesetter). If the Dutch oven sat directly on the heat diffuser, the pot would be scorching hot on the bottom, not what we want.
Lodge #12 Deep Camp Dutch Oven [Amazon Affiliate Link]

Kick Ash Basket makes it easy to keep a good airflow for your grill
I used a Kick Ash Basket full of BGE hardwood lump charcoal for my fuel. I shook the basket to get rid of the ashes from the prior cook, which ensures a good airflow. I put the used lump in a steam pan for a moment. Then I put new coal in the Kick Ash Basket and top it off with the ash-free used coal. You can just put the new coal on top, but I like to have the used coal on top because it lights easier and doesn't pop as much when lighting it with a torch.

Big Green Egg set up for cooking with a camp style dutch oven
So here is the setup when everything is in place.

I used my Thermoworks Signals with a Billows fan to control the grill temperature. The Signals monitors the cooking temperature inside the grill, and when needed, it kicks on the Billows fan to stoke the fire.
I used my Thermoworks Signals with a Billows fan to control the grill temperature. The Signals monitors the cooking temperature inside the grill, and when needed, it kicks on the Billows fan to stoke the fire.
Thermoworks Signals remote probe thermometer/controller [Affiliate Link] $35 off today (1/3/22)
Thermoworks Billows stoking fan [Affiliate Link] $10 off today (1/3/22)

The one snag that I ran into was that since I wasn't using a grill grate, I didn't have anywhere to clip on the air temperature probe. I found this menu cardholder, which held the clip perfectly. 

Italian Shredded Beef sandwiches
These 5 ingredients were all it took.

Searing a chuck roast in a Dutch oven
Since I was trying to beat the snow, I seared the chuck roast inside on the stovetop. Typically I would have done that over direct heat on the grill and then added the heat diffuser to finish using indirect heat.

The hardest part about this recipe? It was finding the Chicago-style giardiniera. I had to go to 4 different grocery chains to finally find it at Publix. 

Italian Shredded Beef sandwiches
Once you sear the beef, this is one of those "everybody in the pool" kind of recipes. I purposely put some of the pepperoncini and giardiniera on the roast and in the liquid. Let's talk about braising for a second....

I didn't give a quantity for the stock because it is variable on two things - roast height and pot size.
  1. Roast height - When braising, the secret is to have the meat partially submerged. Ideally, the liquid should be from 1/2 to 2/3rd up the side of the roast. 
  2. Pot size - It is vital to have a pot that fits the roast. If you use too big of a pot, you will have to use way too much liquid to achieve the 1/2 to 2/3rd mark, and that will dilute your seasonings. 

Dutch oven in the Big Green Egg
Now, I just put the lid on the Dutch oven...

Big Green Egg with a Thermoworks Signals controlling the heat.
Shut the Big Green Egg and let the Signals/Billows take care of business while we went about doing our house project.

Italian Shredded Beef sandwiches in a Dutch oven on the Big Green Egg kamado grill
Look at that thick luscious sauce! After 3 hours, the roast was fork-tender. The internal temperature was 207°f at this point, but I was really just going by the texture of the meat.

I gave it a quick shredding right in the Dutch oven with a pair of large forks.

It was good enough to eat at this point. But I put it back in for 30 minutes just to let it all gel together..

Italian Shredded Beef sandwiches in a Dutch oven on the Big Green Egg kamado grill
I make the hoagies open-faced like this and then pop it under the broiler until the cheese is melted.

Italian Shredded Beef sandwiches in a Dutch oven on the Big Green Egg kamado grill
Finally, I just fold it over and you have an amazing Italian beef sandwich!

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