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Tender beef, richly seasoned and slow-cooked to perfection, piled onto a crusty roll and ready for a dip in homemade au jus. This French Dip Sandwich recipe offers restaurant-quality flavor from the comfort of your own kitchen, and it’s easier than you think.
French Dip or Beef Dip
Imagine sinking your teeth into a tender, flavorful sandwich filled with melt-in-your-mouth beef. That’s what this French Dip Sandwich, also known as Beef Dip, delivers. The beef slow-cooks with onions, garlic, and spices, soaking up all the amazing flavors. When it’s ready, it’s so tender you can slice it easily, and it goes right onto crusty rolls. Don’t forget the Swiss cheese to make it extra special.
The best part? This dish is pretty much hands-off, thanks to your slow cooker. All you have to do is load it up, let it cook, and come back to a kitchen smelling like heaven. Plus, you get a tasty dipping sauce, or au jus, right from the slow cooker. It’s a home-cooked meal that feels like a night out, without any of the fuss.
Why You’ll Love This French Dip Recipe
- Effortless Elegance: This French Dip Sandwich gives you the luxurious taste of a high-end restaurant meal without the high-end effort. Thanks to the slow cooker, you can enjoy tender, flavorful beef with minimal hands-on time.
- Versatile and Customizable: Whether you like your beef medium-rare or well-done, you can adjust the cooking time to your liking. The sandwich also leaves room for customization. This recipe serves as a delicious base that allows you to put your own twist on it.
- A Complete Meal in a Bun: With succulent beef, sautéed onions, and melty cheese all tucked into a crusty roll, this sandwich is a hearty and fulfilling meal all by itself. And let’s not forget the au jus—a flavor-packed dipping sauce that’s created during the cooking process.
- Beef: Whether it’s ribeye, chuck roast, or sirloin, you need a quality cut to make this sandwich stand out.
- Salt and Black Pepper: These fundamental seasonings enhance the beef’s natural flavors. Feel free to use sea salt or kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper is always best.
- Oregano: An aromatic herb that adds an additional layer of complexity to the beef’s seasoning. Other herbs like rosemary or thyme can be used as substitutes.
- Olive Oil: Used for searing the beef to lock in flavors and create a delicious crust. Canola or vegetable oil are suitable alternatives.
- Onions: These are not just fillers; they add sweetness and depth to the dipping juice. Yellow or white onions are standard choices.
- Garlic: Offers a rich, aromatic component to the overall flavor profile. Garlic powder can be used in a pinch.
- Bay Leaves: These add a subtle herbal nuance to the cooking liquid. They can be omitted without significantly altering the recipe.
- Worcestershire Sauce: This adds tang and umami to the dipping sauce, making it irresistibly complex. Soy sauce can act as a substitute.
- White Wine: It elevates the flavor of the dipping juice. If you prefer a non-alcoholic option, extra beef broth will suffice.
- Beef Broth: This forms the base of your dipping juice, adding a savory, meaty quality. Chicken or vegetable broth can be used for a lighter option.
- Bread: Crusty rolls or French baguettes are ideal for soaking up all that delicious dipping juice. Choose a hearty bread that won’t disintegrate upon dipping.
- Swiss Cheese (Optional): This melts beautifully and adds a creamy, nutty element to the sandwich. Provolone or Gruyère are also fine choices.
You won’t believe how easy it is to whip up this mouthwatering French Dip. Trust me, you’re in for a treat. Let’s get started!
First things first, grab your cut of beef. Doesn’t matter if it’s ribeye, chuck roast, or sirloin—just make sure it’s a good one. Tie it up with kitchen twine if it’s a little floppy. Mix together some salt, pepper, and oregano in a bowl, then give that beef a good rub-down with the spices.
Now, heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pop that beef in and sear it on all sides until it’s got a nice brown crust. Trust me, this step is the secret to locking in all those delicious flavors.
Alright, let’s move on to the slow cooker. Throw in your sliced onions, minced garlic, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, and white wine. Give it a quick stir and then nestle the beef right on top. Pour some of that fragrant liquid over the meat to keep it moist. Cook it on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours, depending on how you like your beef cooked.
Once your beef is cooked to perfection, take it out and let it rest on a cutting board for about 10-15 minutes. You’ve got to give it time to collect itself, you know? Then, slice it as thin as you can without making beef confetti.
While your beef is resting, strain the liquid from the slow cooker and save those onions! Toss the bay leaf; it’s done its job. Now, to assemble these bad boys: pile some beef onto a roll, add some onions, and if you’re feeling cheesy, throw on a slice of Swiss. Pop it under the broiler for a quick melt.
Serve your sandwiches with the reserved au jus on the side. One dip, and you’ll know why this recipe is a keeper.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a French Dip Sandwich?
A French Dip Sandwich, also known as a Beef Dip, is a hot sandwich consisting of thinly sliced beef served on a roll or baguette. It’s often accompanied by a side of “au jus,” or beef juice, for dipping. Despite the name, it’s not French—it was actually created in America!
What’s the Best Cut of Beef for This Recipe?
The ideal cut of beef for this recipe would be a ribeye loin or a chuck roast. Sirloin can also work well. Ribeye is rich and flavorful, chuck roast is a bit leaner but still tasty, and sirloin is a good budget-friendly option. Choose based on your preference for fat content and flavor.
What Type of Wine Should I Use?
A dry white wine is ideal for this recipe. Think along the lines of a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio. These wines add a subtle complexity to the au jus without overwhelming it. If you’re not a wine drinker, you can easily substitute it with more beef broth.
Can I Use Other Types of Cheese Besides Swiss?
Absolutely! While Swiss cheese is traditional and melts well, you can also use provolone, mozzarella, or even cheddar if you prefer. Feel free to make this dish your own.
Can I Make This Dish Ahead of Time?
You bet! The beef can be cooked ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. The au jus can also be prepared in advance. Just reheat both before assembling your sandwiches and you’re good to go.
Can I Make This in the Instant Pot?
Absolutely! To do so, use the “Sauté” function to sear the beef on all sides, just like you would in a regular skillet. After that, add the remaining ingredients as listed, lock the lid in place and cook on “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” for about 45 minutes for medium, or adjust time based on your preferred doneness. Once the cooking cycle is done, allow the pressure to naturally release for at least 10 minutes before doing a quick release for any remaining pressure. Then proceed with slicing and assembling the sandwiches as directed.
- Pre-Tying the Beef: If your cut of beef is irregularly shaped or has loose flaps, take a moment to tie it with kitchen twine. This helps it cook more evenly and makes for easier slicing later on.
- Don’t Skip Searing: It might be tempting to toss the beef directly into the slow cooker, but searing it first creates a rich crust that locks in flavor. It also adds depth to the au jus, elevating the whole dish.
- Au Jus Seasoning: For an extra kick, consider adding a sprig of rosemary or thyme to the au jus while cooking. Remove it before serving. This minor tweak can introduce another layer of flavor.
- Broil, Don’t Melt: If you’re using cheese, placing the assembled sandwiches under the broiler for a few minutes not only melts the cheese but also gives the bread a nice, toasty finish.
- Slice Against the Grain: When you’re ready to slice the beef, make sure you cut against the grain. This makes each bite more tender and enjoyable.
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.
Discover More Delicious Recipes
- 4 pound ribeye loin (boneless or chuck roast or sirloin)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large onions (sliced)
- 10 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup white wine
- 3 cups beef broth (low sodium)
- 8 crusty rolls (or French baguette)
- 8 slices swiss cheese (optional)
- 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℉ for medium-rare or 145℉ 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.
- Meat Choices: While ribeye loin is my go-to for this recipe, chuck roast or sirloin work well too. The key is slow-cooking to achieve that fall-apart tenderness.
- Cheese Options: Swiss cheese is optional but highly recommended for that gooey, melty texture. You can also use provolone or mozzarella as substitutes.
- Cooking Time: Keep an eye on the internal temperature of the beef. Aim for 130-135℉ degrees for medium-rare or 145℉ degrees for medium. Cooking times can vary based on the cut and size of your beef.
- Straining Liquid: Don’t skip straining the liquid from the slow cooker. It serves as your flavorful au jus for dipping, enhancing every bite.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Warm up the beef in the au jus to keep it moist when reheating.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.