Wednesday, September 2, 2009

BBQ Beef Sandwiches

Tonight I finally asked my husband if he was sick of having this for dinner. Luckily, he doesn't have a great memory and told me that we don't have them very often. I've made this recipe a couple times a month all summer and I still love it. The great part is that it's super easy and by using the slow cooker, you don't need to turn on your stove or oven.

I know that I could make my own barbecue sauce (if you have a good recipe, email me at but I've been using bottled. One big lesson I learned is that a lot of commercially made BBQ sauces have high fructose corn syrup (as the first or second ingredient!) in them. So, I've switched from "Sweet Baby Ray's" which I had to doctor up with hot sauce and dijon mustard anyways to cut the sweetness to the Trader Joe's Hickory Smoke kind. Yeah, I know it seems weird to cook anything smoke-flavored if you live in the San Gabriel Valley and are smelling and seeing smoke all day from the fires.

For those of you who don't love BBQ sauce (Stephanie), or can't stomach it during wild fire season, I'll put my variation on this recipe with no hint of BBQ of any kind at the bottom of the recipe.

BBQ Beef Sandwiches (4-6 servings depending on the exact size of the cut of meat)

3 lbs beef, roasting cut (I usually use rump roast or brisket)
A can of beer
1/2 onion, sliced (optional)
1/2 bell pepper, sliced (optional)
1 - 2 cups bottled BBQ sauce
olive oil
salt and pepper

Put your beef in a crockpot and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn it over and do the same to the other side. Sprinkle the onion and bell pepper over the top (if using) and pour about half a can of beer over the top - just so it's surrounded in the crock pot but not totally immersed. Cook it for 6-8 hours. I usually do 4 hours on high and another 1-2 hours on low.

You're waiting for the beef to shred apart easily with two forks. At this point, scoop out most of the liquid (from the beer and the juice of the meat), shred the beef, and add the BBQ sauce. Stir in the BBQ sauce until it's as saucy as you like it and then leave it in the crock pot on low until it's all warmed through. Serve on bread, hamburger buns, in pita, with tortillas, or by itself. The leftovers are great.

Tip: If there's a lot of fat on the surface of your meat, don't cut it off. Before you shred the beef, take a pair of tongs and scrape it off the surface and throw it out. It'll make the meat more tender but you don't have to eat all the fatty parts.

Variation: Along with the onion, pepper, beer, salt and pepper, add 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 1T oregano, 1/2 tsp parsley, 1/2 tsp. basil, 1/2 tsp. thyme, some crushed red pepper, a bay leaf, 1/2 cup of sliced pepperoncinis and 1/4 c. juices from the pepperoncini jar. When you shred the meat, don't discard as much of the liquid. Serve it on toasted italian or French bread with the juice, more pepperoncinis, and slices of provolone cheese. I've been told that this is "Italian pot roast."


  1. I make something very similar to this with my slow cooker. It's so easy. That's the part I like.

  2. Gotta get me a slow cooker. (Ok, I've said that before.)

    I heard the smell of barbeque will trump the smoky smell of fires.

  3. Will loves the trader joes bbq sauce...

  4. Important: Fire meeting tonite! Ck my blog if interested.

  5. Will wants to make your recipe but I won't let him until he finds grass fed beef. But apparently grass fed rump roast or brisket is hard to find (at Henry's & Trader Joes). Have you seen it at Whole Foods?

  6. Lisa - I know this is an old question but I just found it from J & J Ranch beef at South Pas farmer's market

  7. Note to self: between 9 and 9.5 lbs, in 3 crockpots yielded 40 sandwiches (for 25 adults and 15 kids)