UPDATE: I originally wrote this post about of one of my favorite organizations, The Junior League of Portland, and their annual fundraising event, JLP Cares, which raises money to support the work they do in our community, specifically with regards to violence against women and children. The fundraising event is over, but I’ll give you a quick run down.
It was my first volunteer day with the Junior League and I had the amazing opportunity to help teach a slow cooker class for residents of Raphael House, an organization for those seeking shelter against partner violence. This event is a popular one for RH, because all too often, a person leaves an abuser with only the clothes on his/her back and perhaps a few necessities when they are finally able to get away. During the workshop, we all eat a brunch or dinner of slow cooker foods, plus all participants receive their own brand new slow cooker and an arsenal of recipes and tips for easy meals. They then get to take this with them when they leave the shelter, the slow cooker often being the first item to help set up kitchen in their new residence. I was drawn to this event for the obvious reason of cooking as a passion of mine, and left having truly enjoyed sharing my knowledge of meal planning and easy recipes, as well as visiting and sharing a meal with the residents.
That particular workshop is long over, but several are held throughout the year as it remains one of their most popular resident training events. The same holds true for another of our partners, Bradley Angle, another organization who provides safety and services to those who are faced with interpersonal violence. I look forward to continuing to volunteer at these events, swapping recipes and enjoy a meal with the residents. With that said, please continue below for one of my favorites – my mom’s Italian beef sandwiches!
For more information about Raphael House and Bradley Angle and the important work they each do in the Portland community, please visit raphaelhouse.com and bradleyangle.org.Additionally, check out The Junior League of Portland here.
So simple – just throw everything into the pot and let it go!
SO. GOOD. My mom is a freaking genius!
By the way, I used 8-inch hoagie rolls for my sandwiches which made 6 ginormous monstrosities, but but cutting those rolls in half, this recipe easily serves 12 comfortably (or less with leftovers). For a party, use slider rolls for mini sandwiches and it will serve even more! If you have the crock pot capacity, double the recipe and you’ll have enough to feed a football team – or at least a bunch of hungry people who are watching some football, hahaha!
My Mom's easy crock-pot Italian beef is perfect for a weeknight dinner and is GREAT for a crowd!
3 lb. beef roast, top or bottom round
1 medium onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced (see notes)
1-2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
3-5 cloves garlic, sliced in half
6-8 fennel seeds
6 beef bouillon cubes (see notes)
16 oz. jar pepperoncini peppers
6-8 cups water (see notes)
salt & pepper to taste
sliced hoagie rolls
sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese
Put the beef roast in the crock-pot, fat side up.
Add the sliced vegetables, both kinds of garlic, the fennel seeds and the bouillon.
Dump in all the juice from the pepperoncinis. If you like it spicy, add in a few whole peppers.
Add in water to cover the beef roast, about 6-8 cups.
Cook on low for about 8 hours (see notes), until the beef is fork tender and falls apart easily.
Remove the roast from the crock-pot and shred, cutting away any remaining fat.
Put the beef back into the crock-pot and season to taste with salt & pepper.
Let the beef continue to cook on low for another 10-15 minutes (or until you are ready to eat) to really soak up all that delicious juicy goodness.
* My mom always uses green peppers, but I like to use 1 green and 1 red pepper for a punch of color. * Instead of bouillon cubes, I use "better than bouillon" paste. It has amazing flavor and is cheaper per serving than the cubes. Alternatively, you can use beef or veggie broth instead of the bouillon and water. * Depending on your crock-pot, you may need to adjust the cook time. My low temp is pretty low and does take the full 8 hours. * The hoagie rolls I used were huge, subsequently making about 6 giant sandwiches. Cut those rolls in half and this easily serves 12, or use what you want for dinner and freeze the rest for an easy weeknight reheat dinner :) To serve a big crowd, you could also double the recipe and serve with slider rolls.