When I was 4-5 years old, my father was stationed in Springfield, Illinois. During our stay there, with some regularity, we would enjoy these incredibly delicious hot beef poor boy sandwiches served on chewy Italian bread from a little Italian restaurant near our house. I have since discovered on-line that it is still operating as Saputo Twins’ Corner! It has been operated continuously by the Saputo family since 1948. These stewed beef poor boy sandwiches were so good, and so popular, you had to order them early in the day to insure you would get one and at that, STILL had to wait in line to pick them up! But they were well worth every minute you had to wait! They would just melt in your mouth!!! As the delicious juices permeated the homemade chewy Italian hoagie roll, they would be fairly messy to eat, but who cared? They were so good! The beef was slow-simmered all day long to render it so tender no chewing was needed really. I was shredded up in the very liquid is was cooked in. Mmmmm …….that flavor has remained with me to this day. I have come up with my version of that sandwich and find it VERY close to the original at Twins Corner, other than the fact that I must serve mine on a low-carb roll, above it is shown on two of my 5″ long hoagie rolls: https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/peggys-hotdog-buns-or-hoagie-rollbuns/. These low-carb buns will not support the juice for picking it up with your hands, unfortunately, and therefore will require a fork. I’m currently using a tougher, sturdier bread for my poor boys: https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/einkorn-arrowroot-sandwich-buns-2/. Or you can serve them on any plan-suitable Induction-friendly low-carb bun of your choice.
I always get asked, so I’ll address this topic up front. I would not personally ever cook this in a crock pot. I ditched two of them because I never ate anything cooked in them I liked. Just really not fond of crock pots. If you try using one for this recipe, however, be certain the crock pot is big enough to totally cover the meat and veggies with water and stay covered with water until the end of cooking. The last thing you want is for all the juice to cook away. I have done this dish in a pressure cooker a couple of times, but again, it wasn’t as good as the slow, half-day cooking method in a regular old stew pot. Here’s what mine looks like in the pot, so you can see the level of water you want to maintain:
3 lb. chuck roast, trimmed of major fat
2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced (mine was 6 oz.)
2 c. celery, diced large
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
Water to just cover meat (add more as needed to maintain the meat being just covered)
Thickener of your choice
DIRECTIONS: Trim off any major fat bands off the outside of your chuck roast. Heat olive oil in a deep Dutch oven or soup pot (mine is non-stick). Brown meat well on both sides on high heat. I like to cut my roast into 3 smaller pieces to speed up cooking, but it is not really necessary. Add to the pot the sliced onion and celery. Pour enough water over all the ingredients to just cover. Add salt and pepper and bring to a full boil. Lower fire to just a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 4 hours (5 hours if you don’t cut the roast into 3 smaller pieces) or until the meat is literally beginning to fall apart when tested with a fork. If you use a pressure cooker, you can have this tender in under an hour. Once the meat is tender, break up the meat into nice, small pieces, some shreds. See the pic above. I don’t like to reduce it totally to shreds, as I find that to be a bit visually off-putting after reheating leftovers. Just my personal hang-up there, so you can shred it up however you like. While low heat is still on the meat, add a little of your favorite dry thickener to just slightly thicken the liquid surrounding the meat. I dust a few sprinkles of xanthan gum successively (Paleo folks will want to use arrowroot to thicken) stirred in until the liquid surrounding the meat is just barely thickened and clinging to the meat.
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 8 servings (possibly more). 1/8 batch of the meat mixture contains:
254 calories, 7.09 g fat, 2.54 g carbs, .69 g fiber, 1.85 g NET CARBS, 38.3 g protein, 682 mg potassium, 23 mg sodium, 66% RDA Vitamin B6, 125% B12, 22% copper, 41% iron, 14% magnesium, 60% niacin, 51% phosphorous, 25% riboflavin, 86% selenium, 14% thiamin and 122% zinc