Make-Ahead Italian Beef

Make-Ahead Italian Beef

I recently nabbed this recipe from my mom. She has been making it for as long as I can remember and it’s always a big hit with our family. It really feeds a crowd (though would be simple to cut down if you have a smaller family), is easy to make ahead of time (so you can enjoy your evening or company when the time comes and still have a delicious meal to set out,) and did I mention it’s good? No no, it’s amazing!

I will be honest…I had to make it twice to get it just the way my mom makes it. The first time, I didn’t cover the beef when it cooked the second time after being sliced and used a higher temp…which made the beef a little tough. The second time I made it, I covered it tightly for both cooking steps and lowered my temp…perfection! Delicious flavor, amazingly tender…win win situation.

Make-Ahead Italian Beef

For the beef:

1–6 lb rump roast (My grocery store didn’t have one this big readily available so I improvised and used 3 smaller roasts.)

1 large onion, sliced (I used vidalia)


salt & pepper

For the au-jus:

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp basil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp seasoned salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place roast in a roasting pan (I don’t have one…can you believe it?! I used a 9×13 cake pan.) Fill roaster halfway with water. Add salt, pepper, and onion. Cover tightly with foil and roast until tender. (Mine took about an hour and a half but remember…I used 3 smaller roasts rather than one large roast. Adjust your cooking time accordingly.)

Italian Beef

After this step is complete, remove roast and cooking liquid to a large container that you can refrigerate it in overnight. The next day, you will notice the fat has hardened and is easily skimmed either with a spoon or by straining the liquid through a fine mesh strainer.

Italian Beef

Italian Beef

Slice the beef as thin as you can and line the bottom of a glass 9×13 baking dish with it.

Italian Beef

Meanwhile, pour strained liquid into a large pot and bring to a boil with garlic powder, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, and seasoned salt. Remove from heat and pour liquid over beef.

Italian Beef

Italian Beef

Italian Beef

I added more liquid after I took this picture…the beef doesn’t need to be completely submerged but you want it to be pretty well covered so it gets super tender in the next cooking step.

Refrigerate it in this state until you are an hour away from dinner. At this point, pop it back into the oven, covered, at 300 degrees for an hour. You can serve it straight up or on your favorite bun with or without cheese…but I absolutely must recommend that you slather that bun in the delicious au jus. Or you might even serve the au jus on the side for dipping. Either way, don’t skip the au jus! Trust me on this one, eh?

Italian Beef

And yes, that is the sweet potato salad you spy in the background! That stuff just goes with everything! 🙂

The next time I make this I’m gonna try throwing it in the crock pot…I’ll let you know how it goes!


6 thoughts on “Make-Ahead Italian Beef

  1. this is my favorite. I made my family’s recipe for a big christmas gathering and bought the rump roast from a butcher. After cooking it, I took it back and they did the slicing for me! well worth the extra trip.

  2. Pingback: Chicken Alfredo Roll-Ups | Gaining Mommymentum

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