Hot Beef Sandwiches w/ Spicy Coleslaw
I’m a big fan of meals that practically cook themselves, especially on weekdays after getting home from a long day at work; needless to say, my slow-cooker is a good friend of mine. Roasts are great, not just because they’re easy, but also because you end up with a lot of food; leftovers are a great thing during the weekdays, in my opinion, because then fast-food isn’t as tempting the rest of the week (who wants McDonald’s when you’ve got pot roast in the fridge?), or at least for the next day. It’s not too expensive, which is nice; the biggest cost, of course, is the beef roast itself, but everything else is relatively inexpensive (cheese, buns etc. you may already have in your kitchen, I know I did).
The great thing about slow-cooking meals is not only that it’s relatively effortless, but the act of slow-cooking causes the meat to become soft, tender and juicy, not to mention amazingly flavorful. The coleslaw here provides a nice contrast in texture with a good crunch and a bit of a spicy kick, since the beef is savory. Personally, I think the broth is one of the best parts! I love when the soft bun becomes saturated in broth; when you take a bite, you get the hot beef, then the savory broth, the gooey cheese, and the crunchy, spicy coleslaw, all on a soft, fluffy bun.
The idea for this dish came from my boyfriend, who was craving pot roast; we’d just seen some Food Network show that had been talking about the best hot beef sandwiches around, and it may have stuck in both of our minds. Now, I don’t need much coercion to agree to put a nice roast into the slow-cooker for the day and allow it to cook itself while its smell perfumes the apartment, building anticipation for the moment I get to taste it. I drove to the store and purchased the ingredients with a smile on my face, and WOW was it worth it! This is the kind of food that you stuff yourself with until you swear you’re done, because you just can’t eat anymore. Then you tell yourself ‘just one more’ over and over again, until you’re lying on the couch an hour later, content and satisfied, but planning a long workout the next day in an attempt to undo some of the damage.
For the hot beef:
1 beef roast, any kind & any weight, it depends on how many you’re serving (I used a burgundy pepper spoon roast, about 3 lbs. – pictured below)
1 packet onion soup mix (any brand)
2 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth (preferably low-sodium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12 ounce) beer
8 hamburger buns
8 slices provolone cheese
For the spicy coleslaw:
1 (16 ounce) package shredded coleslaw mix
½ red onion, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red jalapeño, seeded & thinly sliced (can use a regular green jalapeño, the heat level will just be a bit lower)
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. white vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
Several dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot)
½ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. celery salt
Pinch kosher salt
What to do:
For the hot beef:
Put the roast, onion soup mix, beef broth, garlic and beer in a slow-cooker; cook on high for 2 hours, then reduce to low and cook another 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. When finished, shred with a fork (at this point, it should be so tender that it shouldn’t need more than a slight tug to shred).
For the coleslaw:
In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Serve the hot beef on hamburger buns with a slice of provolone cheese on each sandwich; top with coleslaw. If you like a little extra heat like I do, try putting a few spicy pickle chips on the bottom bun, underneath the hot beef (I like Famous Dave’s spicy pickle chips), it’s really hot, but delicious! Enjoy with a tall, cold glass of milk.
The term Provolone (meaning large Provola, which is smoked bufala mozzarella) appeared around the end of the 19th century, when it started to be manufactured in the Southern regions of Italy, and this cheese assumed its current large size.