Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich


Chuck roast, slow cooked on low heat in a braise of barbecue sauce, then shredded and served over sandwich buns. Great for big parties.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

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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.

You can either make your own BBQ sauce for this recipe (my favorite is this Bourbon BBQ Sauce) or you can just use your favorite jarred sauce.

Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes enough for 12 sandwiches.


  • One 3-pound chuck roast, rinsed and dried
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin 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 Make sauce with onions, tomatoes, BBQ sauce: 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 beef roast, simmer on low for 3 hours: Add the chuck roast. Bring to a low simmer, cover and slow cook until meat is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 hours.

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

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

5 Return meat to sauce: 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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Pulled pork sandwich here on Simply Recipes

Salsa verde carnitas here on Simply Recipes

Vietnamese pulled pork sandwich from Sunday Nite Dinner

More BBQ Sauce ideas on Simply Recipes

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

63 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Jenny K.

    Thanks for the recipe! Turned out great. I used a 1.5 lbs roast and cooked for 2.25 hours. Beef was tender and flavorful.

  2. Rose

    I like to cook for large amounts of people and would like to make it for about 80 to 100. How much meT do I need?

    Show Replies (1)
  3. 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!

    Show Replies (1)
  4. 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!!!

    Show Replies (1)
  5. 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.

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