When friends gather around the table in my Southern kitchen, there is usually not a preponderance of actual Southerners—more likely, we are the minority. Living outside Atlanta, most of our friends are transplants from around the country who have lived in Georgia for so long that they consider themselves half-Southern. One of my dearest friends hails from Chicago but has lived here for more than twenty years. She often reaches back to her roots when entertaining, however, and we are the grateful recipients of her efforts…like when she makes her famous Italian beef.
There are many variations of Italian beef out there, most claiming to originate in Chicago. Donna’s version is slow-roasted for many hours and my other favorite is one that is cooked just slightly and then left to rest in the garlicy juices overnight. But Donna’s is by far the easiest, especially when you’re expecting a crowd.
You throw everything in a slow-cooker or a roasting pan and cook on low heat for several hours. Either way, everything goes in at the same time and then you leave it alone until it’s done. No chopping, no stirring, no work. What’s better than that?!
Start with a quality beef roast, like an eye of round. Place it in the slow-cooker or a large roasting pan, then add a jar of pepperocinis with juice, one bottle of dark beer, one packet of Good Seasonings Italian dressing mix and 1/2-1 can of beef consomme.
Wrap tightly with foil if using a roasting pan. If using slow-cooker, set to low and cook for 8-10 hours and if roasting in the oven, cook at 250 overnight or for 8-10 hours. Then just shred the beef and leave it in the juices until ready to serve.
Serve on hard, crusty rolls so the juice can soak into the rolls. We throw in a salad and some roasted potatoes and call it a meal! This is great for potluck dinners or tailgating. Enjoy!
Donna's Italian Beef
- 1 beef roast (eye of round preferred)
- 1 large jar of pepperoncinis
- 1 bottle dark beer
- 1 packet Good Seasonings Italian dressing mix
- 1/2-1 can beef consomme
- Place roast and all ingredients in roasting pan.
- Cover tightly with foil.
- Cook overnight (or 8-10 hours) at 250.
- Shred the beef and let rest in the juices until ready to serve.
- Serve on a hard roll with juices soaked into the bun.