Italian Beef

I’d never been a big Italian beef fan–until I tried this recipe, made by my sister-in-law Heather Oudman. The beef was flavorful and moist, delicious on a bed of greens or in a sandwich. Thankfully Heather was willing to share her recipe, which originally came from her grandmother. And now I’m sharing it with you!

I made some changes to the original recipe, based on what we have available at our farm and our eating style. For the meat itself, I still use the chuck roast cut, but I like to use the grass-fed beef we sell in our farm stand. I also switched out the regular unbleached white flour for one-to-one gluten free flour. Instead of anise seed, I use fresh tarragon. You can use either anise seed or tarragon, but you don’t want to skip this licoricy ingredient–it’s a must for a flavor! Finally, the original recipe calls for green bell pepper. I use whatever kind of fresh sweet pepper I have on hand.

One last note. Another reason I love this recipe is because you can make it in the morning and have little to no meal prep in the evening. However, the original recipe calls for adding the seasonings about halfway through cooking, or 5 hours in. Unless you’re working from home, this might not be practical. If needed, add the seasonings at the beginning. However, don’t add the pepper then or it will turn to mush. About an hour before the roast is finished cooking, add the julienned peppers. Enjoy!

Italian beef

Italian Beef

A flavorful moist Italian Beef made with grass-fed chuck roast.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: grass-fed beef, roast
Servings: 6 people


  • 12-14" skillet
  • crock pot
  • tongs
  • cutting board
  • chef's knife


  • 2.5-3 pound chuck roast or arm roast
  • 5-6 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup flour we use gluten free flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon or fennel, chopped or substitute with 2 tsp anise or fennel seed
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 medium bell pepper (green, red, orange, or yellow) julienned


The Day Before Cooking

  • If possible, salt roast 24 hours before cooking time, using 1 3/4 tsp salt per pound of meat.

The Morning of Cooking

  • Wash and pat the chuck roast with paper towels to remove moisture. Heat skillet to medium-high. Add olive oil to hot skillet. Dip the chuck roast in flour. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper on each side of roast. Once oil is shimmering, add garlic and roast to skillet. Sear meat so both sides are lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Place meat in crock pot. Carefully pour/scrape oil/garlic mixture over meat. Add 2/3 cup water. Choose 10 hour, low-heat setting on crock pot.
  • After 5 hours of cooking, tie tarragon sprigs together using butcher's twine. Add tarragon to crock pot. Sprinkle sesame seeds evenly over roast. Continue cooking.
  • About 1 hour before end of cooking time, add julienned bell pepper to roast.
  • At the end of cooking time, the beef should be very tender. Use tongs to pull apart. Serve on a bed of greens and/or crusty bread. Enjoy!


We learned the pre-salting method from Samin Nosrat in her cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. She recommends 2 1/8 tsp salt per pound for bone-in meat and 1 3/4 tsp salt per pound boneless meat.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.