These French Dip Sandwiches can be made in the Slow Cooker or the Instant Pot. A super easy dish to prepare starring delicious beef and crusty bread. So tender it might just melt in your mouth!
French Dip or Beef Dip
Also known as a beef dip, this sandwich has become a quintessential pub food in Canada. It’s easy to see why, the delicious combination of tender beef, soft onions, melted cheese, and flavor packed au jus is just unbeatable. While I love to get my hands on it when I’m out to eat, I do think my recipe gives those pubs a run for their money.
I wanted to give you guys a super versatile recipe that can be thrown into the slow cooker or instant pot and this French dip hits all the right notes!
What Is A French Dip?
A French Dip Sandwich is a hot sandwich stuffed full of thinly sliced beef, served on a crusty Baguette (or any crusty roll) and sometimes topped with Swiss cheese. What’s not to love! I used a rib-eye loin, but keep in mind that this piece of meat is quite expensive and as such you can use a sirloin instead as it’s a bit more affordable.
- Beef – I used boneless rib-eye loin for this recipe but chuck roast or sirloin will work just fine.
- Spices – Salt, pepper, and dried oregano are all you need for this sandwich so don’t sweat the spice aisle.
- Olive oil – My favorite oil for browning meat because it doesn’t lose flavor as it heats up.
- Onion – Large onions that cook down nicely are ideal, I used white for this recipe.
- Garlic – I prefer fresh but if minced is all you have that’s fine. Just remember that 1 1/2 teaspoons equal one clove.
- Bay leaf – This is just an aromatic added for flavor so be sure to remove it before eating!
- Worcestershire sauce – This savory condiment is packed full of umami flavor.
- White wine – Any will do, although I do recommend using something dry and acidic like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
- Beef broth – Low sodium broth is recommended because we want to control our sodium content.
- Crusty roll – I used a nice crusty French baguette for this sandwich.
- Swiss cheese – Totally optional but that cheese pull is addicting.
How To Make French Dip
- Prepare the beef: Combine the oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and run generously on your cut of beef (tied with kitchen twine if needed). Apply this mixture to all sides so that an even crust forms. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and sear all sides evenly till that brown crust forms.
- Assemble the sauce: Place all other ingredients in your slow cooker or instant pot and stir well. Place beef in the sauce and spoon the mixture over top.
- Cooking with your slow cooker: Cook on high for 2 – 3 hours or low for 4 – 6 hours. The internal temperature should be 130 – 135 F degrees for medium rare and 145 F degrees for medium. If you like your beef rare check the meat after 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low.
- Cooking with your instant pot: Close the lid and cook for 100 minutes on high. Let the heat and pressure release naturally.
- Assemble the french dip sandwiches: Transfer the meat to a cutting board and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 10 – 15 minutes, the longer the better because we want the meat to retain those juices. In the meantime strain the remaining sauce through a fine strainer. Be sure to hold on to the liquid and the onions! Slice the beef as thin as possible and use it to fill the crusty rolls along. Top with the onions and cheese and serve ASAP with the remaining sauce (au jus).
Tips For Making The Best French Dip
- Place the rolls under your broiler once the cheese has been added to really get a melty masterpiece.
- To make things even easier, sear the beef in your instant pot on the saute setting.
- Ask your butcher to tie your meat with twine because not only will they do it with an experts touch, but they also love to help out!
The cooked beef and dipping sauce can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. These ingredients can also be frozen for up to 3 months but be sure they are cool before freezing.
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Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
- Tie the meat with kitchen twine if needed. In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper and oregano together. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture liberally and generously over the beef on all sides.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and sear it on all sides until a nice brown crust has formed.
- Add the remaining ingredients to your slow cooker and stir. Add the beef and pour some of the liquid over the meat.
- Cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours or LOW for 4 to 6 hours. The meat will be done when the internal temperature reads 130-135 F degrees for medium-rare or 145 F degrees for medium. My beef was cooked to a medium, if you prefer more rare, check the meat after 2 hours on HIGH, or 4 hours on LOW.
- Transfer the meat to a cutting board and cover with foil. Let it rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing into it.
- In the meantime, pour the remaining liquid from the slow cooker through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve both the liquid and the onions for sandwiches. Discard the bay leaf.
- Slice the beef as thin as you can.
- To assemble the sandwiches, slice the rolls in half then pile some beef on the rolls, then top with onions and a slice of Swiss cheese, if preferred. Place the rolls under the broiler, if preferred, for a couple minutes until the cheese melts.
- Serve them immediately with the reserved liquid/au jus to dip the sandwiches into.
- Ask your butcher to tie your meat with kitchen twine, most butchers would love to help you out.
- INSTANT POT FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES
- Follow the steps exactly the same, the big difference is that you can actually sear the beef in the Instant Pot itself by setting it on Saute mode, then add the olive oil and when it’s hot, add the beef to the IP and sear it on all sides. Remove the beef from the IP, then add the onion and garlic and saute them for about 3 minutes until soft. From then add the remaining ingredients, as in the slow cooker, close the lid and cook on high pressure for 100 minutes.
- Nutritional information is per sandwich and includes Swiss cheese. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.