(Originally posted August 5, 2012 @ mtable.wordpress.org.)
I've always been a huge fan of roast beef sandwiches, particularly the French dip. There's something warm and inviting about taking a hot roast beef sandwich and dipping it into a savory au jus. I think the first French dip I ever had was from Arbys when I was roughly eight or nine years old. I was in love. Since then I've had far better versions of the sandwich. I've made French dip burgers (very good FYI), but I've never attempted the sandwich itself. Until now...
Difficulty: 4 (1 = Toast!, 10 = Souffle)
As always, the ingredients:
Why two pictures, you ask? Thanks to my husband, I slept in that morning, and, in my haste to get the ingredients in the crock pot so they cook for the full 8ish hours, I nearly forgot to take pictures. (You can see the beef broth has already been used.) And when I did take the picture, I left out a few key ingredients. It would be awfully messy trying to eat this without the rolls.
It's pretty simple to make. Salt and pepper the meat and dump everything (excluding the bread and cheese of course) into the crock pot. It looks like this:
Have I mentioned how much I love my crock pot? Well, I do. It's a recent addition to my kitchen. I received it as an anniversary present from my mother just a few months ago. I love that I can throw everything in it and forget it until dinner time. Even better than that, it doesn't turn my house into a sauna in the summer like my oven does.
But I digress. So, everything was in the crock pot and crocking away. During my 8ish hours of waiting, I read a few of the comments on the recipe's site, and I began to fret. Most of the reviews were favorable, but then I read the following. " It tastes nothing like a french dip. Instead, it’s almost like eating a shredded pot roast on a french roll," says Heike. Hmmm. Well that doesn't sound terrible, but I wanted a French dip sandwich. Fingers crossed that Heike was wrong, I continued to wait.
When it came time to take the meat out, it smelled wonderful. I let it rest covered for fifteen minutes.
After letting it rest, I "sliced" it. Here's where the plan fell apart... literally. The recipe tells you to "slice" the beef. I did my best, but it basically fell apart as soon as my knife touched it. It was less me slicing and more it collapsing.
I was worried this would affect the quality of the sandwich, but I persevered! I put the sliced beef back into the crock pot where the au jus (which is just a fancy way of saying beef juice) was still percolating. Twenty minutes later it was ready. Voila! The finished product!
First, that is not a French roll as the recipe calls for. My local commissary didn't have any fresh baked French rolls, so I went with Kaiser rolls instead. Second, I don't know what kind of French dips Heike has been eating, because this tasted a lot like a French dip. In fact, it tasted exactly like a French dip, a very good French dip. The meat was tender and flavorful. It had soaked up the flavor of the liquid. I'm not a big fan of red wine, so I was was afraid it would be too strong. I needn't have worried. It was the perfect addition to the meat and the au jus.
Even my husband who is not a big roast beef eater, enjoyed his sandwich. If you're a French dip or roast beef fan, I highly recommend this recipe.
Final Rating: 9 (1 = Yuck!, 10 = Awesome!)