Best Italian Beef (Bachelor Chow!)

I love Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches.

Having recently purchased a large, 6-quart, crockpot - also known as the ultimate cooking utensil for bachelors - which I've mainly been using to slow-cook my marinara sauce, I recently tried a new recipe and it was absolutely amazing!

Crockpot cooking is pretty amazing - stick all the stuffs in the crockpot, turn it on, come back in 8-12 hours for awesome.

This recipe was modified from the original I found on recipes.com - when I made it, I slow cooked it starting in the mid-afternoon, and shut-it down after about 8 hours of simmering, then started the crockpot up again the next morning for a couple hours.

Ingredients

3 kg Beef - I used tenderloin roasts

1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 bottle of Italian Dressing
4 medium-sized chipotle peppers (more or less to taste)
crushed garlic to taste
chopped onion to taste
1-2 c water

Begin by combining the water, spices and dressing in a saucepan and heating it to boil.  Unwrap the meat and place it in the crockpot.

Pour the boiling mixture over the meat, turn-on the crockpot to low setting, cover and go do something else.  Every couple hours, turn the meat.  Hopefully, as the meat cooks and shrinks, it will immerse in the delicious smelling gravy.

When the roast starts falling apart, grab a couple forks and shred the meat into chunky fiber bits.  Smaller the shred, the juicer the meat.  Once shredded, the meat/gravy ratio should be in-favor of gravy - about 4-parts meat to 5-parts gravy.

Cut up some fresh-baked rolls or sandwich loaves.  I get personal loaves from the local bakery - they're white bread, about 8-inches long, by 3-4 inches wide and 3-inches tall.

Dip the cut-side of the roll into the gravy and let it soak into the bread.  Do this with both pieces.  Lighty -- lightly! -- cover one slice of bread with mayo -- a little bit of sweet to offset the heat.  Pile on the shredded beef.

For the Italian dressing, I just used a regular-sized bottle of general dressing.  The original recipe called for a packet of Italian dressing seasoning.  Good luck finding that in Mexico.  The bottled dressing gives you more liquid during cooking (gravy!) and you can experiment with different variations of the dressing.

The chipotle chiles I used were canned - and very delicious.  Four good-sized chilies and the accompanying chipotle sauce gave the meat a nice mellow tang.