French Dips are roast beef sandwiches that are made with beef that has been cooked slow for several hours, and served on sub rolls or hoagie rolls with or without cheese. They’re served with au jus to dip the sandwich in, the juices the beef was cooked in. They are delicious, crave-worthy, and every home cook has their own version. This recipe is mine.
I have so been craving French Dip sandwiches lately.
They’re definitely one of my very favorite sandwiches.
Ok, ok, Reuben probably comes in first. I really think it just depends on my mood. I’m definitely a sandwich girl; always have been.
That reminds me – want to know a silly fact about me?
I LOVE ham and American cheese (yes, the processed cheese) on really fresh white bread with mayo, mustard and plain chips.
Salty, greasy chips.
That’s something I haven’t had in so long. I also loved fried bologna sandwiches with the same processed cheese melted, on white bread slathered in mayonnaise when I was a child.
It was a kid thing, but still kinda makes me hungry just thinking about it sometimes – although I wouldn’t buy bologna or processed cheese. now because NO.
Now, I tend to love thinly sliced ham or pastrami on focaccia or naan with sharp cheddar or Muenster, fresh tomatoes, sprouts and, yep, mayonnaise.
How to Make French Dips
This is not a difficult recipe at all – the slow cooker does all the work. I used London broil, which is pretty lean, and cooked it slow – about 9 hours. I also trimmed the excess fat from it before putting it in the crockpot; I’ll gag if I find piece on my sandwiches.
I did leave a good bit of fat, because as we all know, you have to have some fat to have flavor. I find that taking off what looks like too much fat and positioning the roast with the fat side up, I always get good results. The fat on top is like a self-baster and it rolls down the meat during cooking making it tender and juicy.
Keep in mind that you could always use chuck roast, tri-tip or whatever cut of beef you like. I personally like London broil when it comes to slow cooking beef.
Just make sure to inspect your roast before buying it; I’ve made the mistake of not paying attention to it while in the store and ended up with a terrible fat/meat ratio.
Cuts of meat like this need low and slow cooking for good results. I love to use my slow cooker when I make this, but there are other methods if you don’t have one. You can always braise your meat in a cast iron dutch oven in the oven. An Instant Pot will work, as would an air fryer.
As far as cheese, I use Provolone. I’ve always liked it on this sandwich, but I’m sure Mozzarella would be a good sub.
The au jus is absolutely necessary; it is not the same without it, Dipping the sandwich in the juices it cooked in sets it apart from any other sandwich you’ll ever have. You definitely can’t skimp on it.
This was the first time I’ve made it using consomme instead of beef broth, and now I can say that I highly recommend it. It really gave it a nice rich flavor that added to the flavor of the au jus. I believe this is what was missing from my French dips in the past.
When the beef is done, remove it to a chopping board and shred. To make the au jus, pour the juices from the slow cooker into a large container. If you don’t have a fat strainer, now is the time to get one.
I have the OXO Good Grips Good Gravy Fat Separator, and let me tell you – I LOVE IT. It so easily separates the fat while the broth is poured from the bottom. I had no idea how much I would use it; it makes my life easier. I use it when making pancakes, and when I’m filling ice trays with any kind of liquid or gravy.
You can make these with or without the banana peppers; I love them but they definitely aren’t necessary here. My family avoided them like the damn Ebola virus.
More for me.
Here’s your printable-