For someone whose familial roots are firmly embedded in the Windy City, I can tell you that the culinary repercussions of a Paleo/Primal lifestyle are sometimes more than I can Bear (pun intended).  This Chicago style Italian Beef with a Primal flare can help mitigate that.

Traditional Chicago Style fare usually includes a big portion of bread or dough.  And while these dishes will still occasionally make my mouth water, for my heath and my waistline- I just can’t.  Lucky for all involved, as bread-y as Chicago Style food can be, it’s usually MORE focused on a big ol’ portion of meat.

To be fair, when I lived closer to Chicago I didn’t spend my days eating pizza, hot dogs, or Kolaches (a Polish cookie-like danish that my grandmother used to make).  But going home to visit usually included a few rounds at the best, most bread-iest eateries.

I’ve occasionally attempted to recreate some of my favorites that usually ended in extra treats for our dogs.  But not that long ago, my husband dreamed up this slow-cooker take on Chicago Style Italian Beef.  This guy is spicy and has the requisite peppers to round out the taste and texture.

Spoiler alert- since we’re being Primal, there is no bun and dip included… which might be enough to make you stop reading right now.  But this sucker is simple, delicious, and nutritious- three qualities that negate almost any downside.  Right??

In fact, this Italian Beef is so delicious I’ve been know to eat it with just a fork.  But my favorite and most nutrient dense way is to put it over spinach and melt some fresh mozzarella on top.  You can also shove it into peppers, serve with a side of brussels sprouts, or remove the cheese if you aren’t about that dairy.

Let me know what you think!


[recipename]Chicago Style Italian Beef with a Primal Flare[/recipename]


2 – 2 1/2 lb beef round or sirloin tip roast (grass fed is always preferred for your health)

1/2 TBS Crushed Red Peppers

1 tsp salt

1 TBS Pepper

2 tsp Onion Powder

2 tsp Basil

4 Cloves Garlic, Crushed

1 Jar of Giardinieras

1 Jar of Pepperoncinis

4 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, shredded or sliced[/ingredient]


  1. Combine the spices and use the to dry rub the meat.
  2. Add the meat to your slow cooker along with the giardiniera and pepperoncini.
  3. Add 8 oz cold, filtered water.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.
  5. Using two forks, shred the beef and then let it sit in it’s own juices for 20 minutes.
  6. Serve over spinach and top with mozzarella cheese (optional) [instructions]





1 thought on “Chicago Style Italian Beef with a Primal Flare”

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