You, dear anne, are a sweetie. Your relatives don’t know how lucky they are.
You are going to get my recipe for “healthy” italian beef. It contains veggies, and lots of them.
“Healthy” Italian Beef
Go to the store and get a nice rump or bottom roast, about 5 pounds. Try to make sure there is not a great deal of fat on it, or in it (extensive marbling). Also pick up a baguette or two (or three), nice and crunchy crust, 12-grain or whole wheat all the better.
Let the beef sit out for 30 minutes, covered in plastic. Trim any excess fat. Don’t worry about cutting up the meat. If you have to do so to get out the fat, that’s fine.
In a rather large bowl, place 1/4 cup of dried oregano, 1/4 cup dried basil, 1/4 dried rosemary. Roll the roast around in the mix until well coated.
In a large dutch oven or crockpot, thinnly slice 3 large onions. Also place 10 (count em) peppercorns, and 6 peeled cloves of garlic, whole (You want mild garlic flavor, not bits of garlic). Also place 1/4 cup of red wine (the wine will cook off and leave only flavor). If using a dutch oven, heat the oven until the lid is hot to the touch, then put in the onions, garlic, and peppercorns. Put the roast into the pot. FOR CROCKPOT: Cook HIGH 20 minutes, lower heat to medium. FOR DUTCH OVEN: Bring up to high heat for 5 minutes, then lower for the remainder of the 2 hours, adding a bit of red wine if the liquid is less than 1/4 of the bottom of the pan. This should not be a problem, however, because the onions contain lots of juice.
After about an hour, place in the pot whatever strikes your fancy: green peppers, sliced; red peppers, sliced; mushrooms, cleaned and washed and sliced; carrots, cut into easy eating pieces; celery. Fill up any empty space in the pot. Cook another half hour to an hour, depending on your stove or the crockpot’s heating element. When the carrots are tender, it’s done.
Take out the roast. Let it sit under aluminum foil for a half hour to rest. Thinly slice it and place it back in the pot.
AT THIS POINT, YOU MAY PUT THE SLICED ROAST, THE JUICE AND THE VEGGIES IN FREEZER CONTAINERS. BRING ALONG THOSE BAGUETTES, WRAPPED FOR THE FREEZER.
To serve, slice the baguettes in aprx. 6" sections, then cross-slice to open the bread with a “hinge” like a bun or roll. Some like their italian beef “wet” with the juice soaking the bread. Others prefer “dry” with just meat and veggies. In any event, pile that meat in there. Top with veggies.
This is also very good for SuperBowl, or activities where there are people who like to eat. Romano or mozzerella is nice, but not necessary.