Introduction: 4... 3... 2... 1-Pot Italian Beef

About: Just a semi-retired guy practicing semi-retirement.

I was raised with an Italian Mom and Grandma, both of whom could cook. From basic pasta to braciole to the family secret fennel sausage, our Sunday dinners and holidays were always special. But in my years growing up, I cannot remember either of them ever mentioning "Italian Beef." I've since had many Italian Beef sandwiches as an adult, mostly from restaurants. I didn't have a family recipe to make at home, so I simply didn't make it.

Well, I finally decided to experiment and come up with a super easy, 1-pot Italian Beef that I could throw together with minimum effort. Since I cycle from low-carb to a regular diet periodically, this 1-pot meal satisfies both. When low-carbing, it's delicious by itself. When eating carbs, the leaner beef is a great choice for a sandwich.

There are lots of Italian Beef recipes out there on the Internet, and pepperoncini is a popular ingredient, but I doubt you will find one as simple and fast as my...

4 (ingredients)... 3 (seasonings)... 2 (utensils)... and 1-Pot Italian Beef. This Instructable will guide you through the amazingly simple path to tangy Italian Beef, and we'll show you one of the best ways to serve it up.


4 Ingredients:

  • 3-lb Top Round Roast (although most any roast will do, go cheap and lean)
  • 16-oz Bottle of sliced pepperoncini (yes, I used a greek brand, my local grocer did not have a sliced Italian brand)
  • 12-oz Bottle of Italian beer (any beer will do, but Italian beers do have a unique flavor that I think comes through)
  • 1-serving package of Zesty Italian Dressing dry mix

3 Seasonings:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Granulated Garlic

2 Utensils:

  • Tongs
  • Wooden Spoon

1 Pot:

  • Electric Pressure Cooker with saute' function and metal trivet (I have an Instant Pot, but any countertop electric pressure cooker will do. The trivet keeps the meat from sitting on the bottom of the pot)

Extra stuff helpful for cooking and serving:

  • A little vegetable or olive oil for browining
  • Bollilo Rolls (or your favorite sandwich roll)
  • Sliced Provolone Cheese
  • Mayonaise

This will serve 4 hearty appetites, or me and my better-half with leftovers.

Step 1: Pre-Heat the Pot

Most electric pressure cookers also have a saute' function, this is like a frying pan on medium-high heat. The great part about using the same pot for browning meat is that you get all the goodness of the tasty-bits that are left behind after browning the beef. Browning is a result of the Maillard Reaction, something to do with sugars and proteins getting hot for each other and creating magnificent new flavors. While you can do this roast without browning the meat, you lose a lot of the flavor if you leave off this step.

Step 2: Cut and Season the Meat

If my roast is long, as shown in the picture, I like to cut my roast into two pieces to allow more surface area for browning, and it makes shredding a little easier later on. Don't cut it into chunks, smaller chunks won't give you the same long-grain shredded texture.

Using the 3 Seasonings, sprinkle salt, pepper, and granulated garlic equally and liberally over all sides of the meat.

Step 3: Brown the Roast

When the electric pressure cooker turned saute' pan is fully heated, lightly coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil or other vegetable oil.

Now, using the tongs, carefully place the meat in the pot without splashing the hot oil. Cover if desired, although these pots are deep enough that spattering is limited. My pot won't allow the locking cover on it while in the saute' mode, and I don't have the glass cover, so I place a piece of aluminum foil over the pot if the spattering kicks up.

Brown the meat for five (5) minutes on a side. You want a good medium brown all around, without burning it. This is a good time to be sipping one of the other Italian beers from the six-pack.

Once browned all around, remove the roast to a plate.

Step 4: Deglaze the Pot

With the pot still in saute' mode, you're going to get those little tasty-bits off of the bottom of it.

The way we do that is to "deglaze" the pot. Deglazing is just using a cool liquid on a hot pan to cause the tasty-bits from the browning process to release and become a flavor in the mix. Without the liquid, knocking the bits off with just a wooden spoon would be near impossible.

To deglaze, we will use that 12-oz bottle of beer (or what's left of it). This will also allow the alcohol to evaporate, and not be trapped in the pressure cooker later. I don't know if that makes a difference to anyone, but I said it anyway.

Pour in the entire bottle of beer, let it simmer for a few seconds. It will foam up a bit.

Using the wooden spoon, scrape the tasty-bits off of the bottom, get the bottom as smooth as you can. You will feel the bits release and the spoon slide on the steel bottom as they release.

Step 5: Add the Italian Dressing Mix

Empty the Zesty Italian Dressing Dry Mix to the beer and stir in.

Step 6: Place the Trivet and Roast Into the Pot

Now you're ready to get the roast in the pot.

First, place the metal (or silicon) trivet that should have come with your pressure cooker into the bottom of the pot. If the pressure cooker didn't come with one, you can put the meat on the bottom. I prefer having it more exposed above the liquids than in the liquids. We are NOT braising, we are pressure cooking.

Now using the tongs, place the meat back in the pot on top of the trivet.

Step 7: Add the Pepperoncini

We can now add the last ingredient, the Pepperoncini (peperoncini, pepperoccini) to the pot. This is a complex step, follow closely...

  1. Open the 16-oz bottle of Pepperoncini
  2. Empty the entire contents of the bottle on top of the roast beef.
  3. If it mounds too much, just tap it with the wooden spoon to spread it a bit. It should completely cover the meat.

That's it... time to cook.

Step 8: Cook It...

Cancel the saute' function if still heating, and set the electric pressure cooker to the pressure cook, or "Manual" function.

Place the pressure cooking lid on the pot and lock it in place per manufacturer instructions.

Set the timer for 45 minutes. If the cooker has low-med-high settings, set to "High."

If the cooker has a "Keep warm" function, turn it off. You will be using the "natural release" method, so you don't want the cooker to keep heating afterwards.

Start the pressure cooker.

Go drink another one of those Italian beers... or two.

Step 9: Shred It...

When the 45-minutes is up, and the timer sounds, turn the pot off and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, and then manually release the remaining pressure, according to the manufacturers instructions. The steam comes out hot, keep your fingers and faces away from it.

Carefully remove the lid when the pressure is released completely, and remove the roast with the tongs. It should start to break up as you remove it... fall apart tender, like 6 to 8 hours in a slow-cooker.

Remove the trivet, you won't need it anymore.

Using the tongs and the wooden spoon (or two forks optionally), shred apart the meat and return it to the liquid in the pot.

You have completed the 4... 3... 2... 1-Pot Italian Beef.

Now let's serve it up, that's what we're here for, right?

Step 10: Serve It Simple...

You can serve the Italian Beef several ways.

To keep it really simple, but tasty, especially when watching carbs as I often do, throw a few slices of the Provolone Cheese on the hot, shredded Italian Beef while in the pot, in a few minutes it will be melting right down into the tangy goodness. Grab a bunch with the tongs, watch the melty cheese ooze down as you lift it out of the pot, and serve. This is my favorite way to consume this easy recipe!

For those on a more paleo or medium-carb intake diet, put some on spiralized zuchini or spaghetti squash noodles. Make a lettuce wrap with a little mayo or sour cream.

However, my cyclic romps with low-carb consumption is not for everyone, so for this Instructable, I'll also show you the most traditional serving option, the Italian Beef Sandwich Roll.

Step 11: Make Your Italian Beef Sandwich

First you will cut and brown your roll, break out the Provolone Cheese and some Mayo.

Turn on your broiler, and place the top rack on the second track from the top, place a piece of aluminum foil on the rack. You can use a pan, I prefer to use a piece of foil that I can discard afterwards. Cut or split your rolls. I like to "pinch out" some of the bread, creating little "bowls" to hold more of the Italian Beef. Smear a bit of mayonnaise on each half of the roll, especially around the upper edges, and place on the aluminum foil under the broiler. WATCH IT CAREFULLY! It will brown very quickly, you don't want to burn it.

Use the tongs to remove the bread when lightly browned.

Step 12: Build Your Italian Beef Sandwich

Use the tongs to grab a bunch of Italian Beef from the pot. Don't allow it to drain off too much, the liquid is a necessary part of the goodness.

Place a mound on each half of the roll, and cover each with 1-1/2 slices of Provolone cheese.

Step 13: Melt It...

Using the tongs, place both halves of the meat-filled roll onto the aluminum foil and under the broiler.


The cheese will melt and brown, when about 1/4 to 1/2 of the cheese is brown, or the bread starts to burn around the edges a bit too much, remove the sandwich halves.

Fold the top half onto the bottom half.

Step 14: Cut and Consume.`

Cut the sandwich in half... OK, you don't have to cut it, but just look at how delectable it looks when you do.


Buon appetito!

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