This French dip sandwich has got to be one of the best dishes I've ever tried in the slow cooker. It's really good and incredibly easy.
The beef is cooked for about 6 to 7 hours on low, then sliced and placed back into the slow cooker and kept warm. I think this step of keeping the sliced beef warm in the juices is key, as it really infuses the beef with the flavors of the au jus. I left mine in the slow cooker for about an hour, and was amazed with the flavor. The beef also is excellent warmed up the next day. It's ridiculously good.
French dip sandwiches originated in Los Angeles, and there is evidently a debate as to who invented them, Philippe's The Original, or Cole's Pacific and Electric Buffet. I think most Angelenos, myself included, think of the better known Philippe's. I remember my grandmother taking me there for lunch when we went shopping in downtown Los Angeles, and later my dad taking me there to lunch when visiting me in college (as well as Julie's Trojan Barrel, which is now closed). This restaurant, along with The Original Pantry, are wonderful places to visit for a sense of old working class Los Angeles.
I can't give myself any credit for the deliciousness of this slow cooker version of the French dip. I found it on the blog The Spiffy Cookie, my Secret Recipe Club assignment. Secret Recipe Club? Find out more about it here. It's a fun group of great food bloggers.
The Spiffy Cookie is a blog by Erin, who has her Ph.D in microbiology. Yup. She's really smart! Check out her About page, and you'll find out that she is pretty awesome. You must also check out her post, Steph's Virtual Bridal Shower, which includes Stuffed Flank Steak with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, and Basil; Spinach Potato Cakes; and Amaretto Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake Bars. I plan to make them all.
I loved the sweet slow simmered onions in this recipe, as well as the au Jus, in which I liberally dipped my sandwich. I also baked my own baguettes. Because.
Get a recipe for my baguettes here or here.
One of the ingredients in the braise is Creole Mustard. I was able to find it in a small gourmet restaurant supply store. If you can't find it, spicy brown mustard will work just fine.
Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus Recipe
1 medium yellow onion
3/4 C beef stock/broth
1/4 C reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 C water
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T Creole or spicy brown mustard
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
3 pound chuck roast
Salt and pepper
6 to 8 sandwich rolls, or three demi baguettes, sliced into three rolls each
6-8 slices aged Swiss cheese
- Slice the onion into 1/4 inch thick round slices. Do not separate. Place the slices on the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Add the broth, soy sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and garlic to the cooker.
- Salt and pepper the roast on all sides and lay it on top of the onions.
- Cook the meat on low for 6 to 7 hours.
- Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let sit for about 15 minutes while you prepare the au jus.
- Remove the onions from the pot and place them in a small bowl.
- Strain the liquid into a fat separating measuring cup and let the fat rise to the top. Alternatively, skim the fat off of the top.
- Thinly slice the roast and return it to the slow cooker and switch it to "warm." Add the onions and the liquid. Let sit for about an hour.
- To make the sandwiches, slice the rolls/baguettes in half, lengthwise, and place them on a baking sheet. Toast under a broiler, keeping a close eye, about 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and remove the top halves of the rolls from the pan. Pile the beef and onions on the bottom halves of the rolls, top with the cheese, and broil until the cheese is melty. Top with the other half of the bread and serve with small bowls of the jus.