Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich


From the recipe archive, perfect for feeding a crowd.

My mother grew up in a house where there was constant entertaining. My nana was somewhat of a social bee and even I remember how every night was a party night when as a child I came to visit during the summer. Mom and dad were reminiscing the other day about one of their favorite recipes of my grandmother’s, her pulled beef, braised in BBQ sauce. Mom remembers Nana once feeding 80 people this dish at her small adobe house in Tucson. It’s terribly easy to make, you can easily double, triple, quadruple the recipe, making it perfect for serving large groups of people in an informal gathering, and it’s absolutely delicious.

Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich Recipe

  • Yield: Makes approximately 12 sandwiches.


  • One 3-pound chuck roast, rinsed and dried
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes (preferably plum tomatoes)
  • 1 18-ounce bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (or 2 1/4 cups of your favorite homemade barbecue sauce)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 sandwich or hamburger buns


1 In a large, heavy pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, roughly chopping them in the pot. Add the barbecue sauce, increase heat to medium high and simmer for 10 minutes.

2 Add the chuck roast. Bring to a low simmer, cover and slow cook until meat is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 hours.

bbq-beef-sandwich-1.jpg bbq-beef-sandwich-2.jpg

3 Remove the meat from the pot. Use a fork and knife to separate the roast into small pieces. Set aside.

4 Increase the heat on the pot to medium/medium-high, uncover, and reduce the liquid until thick. Stir often to prevent burning.

5 Return the meat to the liquid in the pan. Warm both thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve on buns.

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Showing 4 of 63 Comments

  • Stephanie

    This was so good! The meat just fell apart and as so flavorful. It also halved really well, since my roast was only 1 1/2 pounds. I did add a hatch style pepper with the onion (they’re seasonal in my garden right now, so I’m pretty much adding them to everything!). This was very easy and tasted like it took much more time. For those of you interested, if you just pull the roast out of the pan, you could just serve it like a regular roast and top it with the sauce instead of shredding it. Next time I’ll try this recipe with pork! It’s usually what I buy since beef is so expensive. Got my chuck roast on sale, and I’m sure glad I chose this recipe for cooking it!

  • Phil

    Hello, Elise…
    I have a question about a plate I see in your “Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich” recipe.
    About 25 yrs. ago, I bought a set of dishes like this one, Cobalt blue and bright white. Most have been broken. I can not find them any where! Can you point me in the right direction?

    Thank you for any and all help you can give.

    Philip M. Crow Sr.

    PS- Love your site and recipes!!!

  • Michelle

    Not sure if I missed something, but the directions say after adding the BBQ sauce to turn up to medium high heat, but then simmer for 10 minutes? I kept it at medium high heat for 10 min. and got some crusty burnt stuff going before I raced from the dishes to stir it and save it from more burning, but was I supposed to just raise it up and then lower to a simmer? Just a little unclear to me, since medium high seems a bit hot for a simmer and it definitely needed attentive stirring to avoid a burnt bottom. Still smells delicious, but I’m going to have a time cleaning my dutch oven later!

    Also, do you use boneless or bone-in chuck roast? I couldn’t find the bone-in at the store, so had to go with boneless, just wondering if I should search harder next time. Thanks! I’m looking forward to the final results, love all the recipes on this site.

  • Vito

    Do you think this would work well with beef short ribs if the excess fat were separated?

  • Lori

    We had this for dinner last night and it was AMAZING!!!! I made it a day ahead of time (cooked it for about 4 hours) and the flavors were so delicious. Only change I made was that I added a little garlic. So yummy! Thanks so much for sharing – I LOVE your recipes!!!!

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