With football season in full swing now, it’s time to share one of my favorite game day meals. Spicy Italian shredded beef sandwiches have quickly become my go-to sandwich. Extremely tender and flavorful, this sandwich also has just the right amount of heat. Let’s dive into how to make it.
Salt and brown the beef
Since this is a shredded beef recipe, we are going to need to slowly braise the meat. Just like with our Barbacoa Tacos recipe, I like to use a chuck roast for this. Cut the roast into 3 inch pieces, generously season them with our Open Fire BPS Rub, and brown them on all sides (using a Dutch oven or oven safe pot) over medium-high heat. This can take 2-3 minutes per side depending on how big your pieces are, but this step is worth doing if you ask me. Once the meat is browned, remove it from the heat and set aside.
Preparing the braising liquid
With the meat browned, you’re going to want to combine the following ingredients together:
- Black pepper
- Celery salt
- Fennel seed
- Garlic powder
- Red pepper flakes
Melt some butter over medium-low heat in the same Dutch oven that you browned the meat in. Mix the spices into the melted butter and allow to cook for about 1 minute. Add some minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the browned meat and it’s juices, and then add beef broth and bay leaves. Mix everything together, bring it to a boil, cover, and put in an oven at 300ºF. Now we need to patiently wait for 5 hours while the chuck braises and becomes extremely tender.
NOTE: if the meat is not fully submerged in the liquid, you can flip the meat at the halfway point of the cook. This is not a required step.
Shred the meat
After patiently waiting 5 hours, it’s time to remove the Dutch oven from the oven. Take all of the meat out and put on a cutting board to allow to cool. Once the meat is safe to touch, shred with your hands, a fork, or shredding claws. In my experiences, the meat has always been so tender that it’s easiest to shred with my hands. Pour some of the braising liquid (which will now be considered our Au Jus) over the meat, mix together, and taste for salt level (it’s usually good for me at this point).
Make your sandwich
Now that all of our hard work is done, it’s time for the fun part: making our sandwich. I like to brush olive oil and garlic powder on ciabatta rolls before toasting them in the oven. Then I’ll add my shredded beef and top with giardiniera, pepperoncini peppers, and sauteed onions. Of course, you cannot forget a side bowl of our au jus (the braising liquid). These sandwiches are AMAZING when dipped into the au jus. So. Much. Flavor. Try this recipe at your next football party. These sandwiches are certainly a crowd pleaser.
Spicy Italian Shredded Beef Sandwich
- 4 lbs Chuck roast cut into 3 inch pieces
- Open Fire BPS Rub to taste
- Avocado oil or any neutral oil
Braising Liquid (Au Jus)
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Black pepper
- 1 tbsp Celery salt
- 2 tsp Coriander
- 1 tbsp Dried basil
- 2 tsp Fennel seed
- 1 tbsp Garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Oregano
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- 2 tsp Red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp Rosemary
- 1 tbsp Thyme
- 6 Garlic cloves minced
- 8 cups Beef Broth
- 3 Bay leaves
Suggested Sandwich Toppings
- Ciabatta Rolls
- Onion sliced and sauteed
- Pepperoncini peppers
- Cut the chuck roast into 3 inch sized pieces. Season all sides of each piece generously with our Open Fire BPS rub.
- In a large Dutch oven or similar oven safe pot, add some oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meat for 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside once browned and repeat with remaining pieces.
- Light the oven to 300ºF.
- In the same Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the spice mixture (not the minced garlic or bay leaves) to the melted butter and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the browned meat, the beef broth, and bay leaves. Combine well, bring to a boil, cover, and put in the oven.
- Allow the meat to cook for 5 hours. Optional: flip the meat at the halfway point of the 5 hour cook.
- After the 5 hours, remove the Dutch oven from the oven and put the cooked meat on a cutting board. Allow to cool so that it will be safe to shred. Do not discard of the braising liquid. This will be our au jus.
- Completely shred all of the meat. Add some of the au jus (the remaining braising liquid) to the meat and mix together. Taste the meat and adjust for the salt level (if necessary).
- Cut the ciabatta rolls in half and brush the insides with olive oil and garlic powder. Toast the inside of the rolls.
- Add the meat to your toasted roll and top with sauteed onions, giardiniera, and pepperoncini peppers. Serve with a side of the au jus for dipping. Enjoy!