I think it is still funny that I married a Yankee. I don't know why but when I planned out my life map I never imagined I would marry someone who didn't wear cowboy boots and that we would name our first born after a baseball stadium not in the Lone Star State. I had many names picked out for my kids prior to having kids, like Tex and Dallas but never Wrigley. With his family came many new traditions. Besides bleeding Cubs blue they also have many foods that they are passionate about like pizza and sweet potatoes but especially Italian Beef. I had never had Italian beef in my life prior to my first year at his grandma's house. I like beef, I am a beef eater and I immediately fell in love with the dish. I cook mine slightly different then grandma does but they taste fairly similar. She has a lovely pot that she got when she was married many, many years ago that has cooked this family staple in on more Christmas Eve's then I can count. Italian Beef is sort of a northern twist on the southern pot roast, although you serve it between crusty Italian bread and dip it in it's own "gravy" or Au jus as the fancy pants call it. It is delicious. I love it and I have carried on this tradition around this neck of the woods for every Christmas eve since. This one's for you Grandma. I hope our grand kids enjoy this dish around our table one day as we gather to celebrate this wonderful season!
1 3-5 lbs eye of round roast
3 cups water
3 beef bullion cubes
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup red cooking wine
1 large sliced onion
2 green bell peppers sliced
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried Italian seasonings
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
Place all ingredients into either a crock pot or a dutch oven. If cooking in the crock pot, set it to low for 6-8 hours. If cooking on the stove top, turn it to medium low and simmer. After 2-3 hours on the stove top and after 4-5 hours in the crock pot, take out the meat and thinly slice it. You can use a meat slicer or a good sharp knife, then return the meat to the pot and allow it to continue cooking, either 2-3 hours more on the stove top or 3-4 hours in the crock pot.
To serve you will need 8-12 Italian rolls
16-20 slices of provolone cheese
Split the rolls and place the cheese between the bread then layer in your meat and onions. Ladle some of the meat juice in little bowls to dip individual sandwiches in. I like to spread on some horseradish sauce on my sandwich but that is going against everything Grandma teaches.