With just a few simple ingredients and your slow cooker, you can make an iconic French sandwich in no time at all! This slow-cooked tender beef, along with the flavorful au jus makes this Crock Pot French Dip Recipe even better than what you'd get in a gourmet sandwich shop!
A French Dip sandwich is a classic sandwich that originated in the early 1900s. It is made with slow-cooked beef, accompanied by a flavorful au jus (a type of brown gravy), and served on a crusty roll or baguette. This combination results in an incredibly juicy and delicious sandwich that people have loved for generations!
While there are many ways to make a French dip sandwich, using your crock pot is one of the best. Not only is slow cooking the beef a simple and easy way to prepare it, but it also allows you to use tougher cuts of meat that need longer cooking times. The end result will be an incredibly tender and juicy sandwich!
What also makes this sandwich shine is the au jus. The French word translates to “juice of the roast” and is simply a mix of beef broth and seasonings. This au jus helps to flavor the slow-cooked beef and adds some extra juiciness to the sandwich. Once everything is cooked, this simple brown gravy is used to dip the sandwich in, which is how it gets its name.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s easy to make with just a few simple ingredients and your slow cooker.
- The slow-cooking process yields incredibly tender beef that is full of flavor.
- The au jus adds a delicious depth of flavor and helps to keep the sandwich juicy
- It’s perfect for making for a special occasion or when you have guests over, but it’s also simple enough that you can make it any day of the week.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chuck Roast - This cut of meat is perfect for slow cooking as it is higher in fat and breaks down when slow cooking into beautifully tender meat.
- Salt & Pepper - Balances and enhances the overall natural flavor of beef.
- Butter - Used to sear the meat before adding to the crock pot to give it a flavorful brown crust that helps seal in the juices as it cooks.
- Seasonings - A packet of au jus mix and onion soup mix give the broth a wonderful beef and onion flavor that sinks into the meat.
- Onion & Garlic - Adds flavor and aromatics to the slow cooker while slow cooking.
- Beef Broth - Used as the cooking liquid, beef broth helps keep the meat tender and adds even more beef flavor.
- Hoagie Rolls - These sandwiches are served on toasted hoagie rolls for a nice contrast in texture between the crunchy roll and slow-cooked beef.
- Provolone Cheese - Melts into each sandwich, adding an extra layer of creaminess.
How To Make French Dip In The Crock Pot
Prepare the beef: Pat the chuck roast dry with paper towels, then sprinkle salt and pepper on each side. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the seasoned roast to the skillet and sear it on all sides for 2-3 minutes. Then add to the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
Add seasonings: To the top of the beef, sprinkle the au jus packet and onion soup mix packet along with the chopped onion and minced garlic. Pour the beef broth over the top.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top and cook the beef on LOW for 7-8 hours or until the meat is fall-apart tender.
Assemble the sandwiches: Remove the roast from the crock pot and strain out the au jus. Shred the meat. Add two pieces of cheese to a hoagie roll, then in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Add the shredded beef to the top.
Dip and enjoy: Pour the au jus into small serving bowls to dip your sandwich in. Enjoy!
- Getting a sear on the meat beforehand is important because it gives the slow-cooked beef a nice brown crust and helps to keep all of the juices inside.
- Do not cook the beef on high, as this will cause the meat to become tough and dry.
- When slow cooking, it’s important to use a slow cooker that is at least 6 quarts in size so that everything fits appropriately.
- When melting the cheese, be sure to keep a close watch on the broiler, as it can go from melted to burnt in a matter of seconds.
- Use a different cut of meat: If you don’t have a chuck roast available, then you can use short ribs, brisket, or even slow-cook some chicken to use for the sandwiches.
- Make it vegetarian: Substitute the beef with slow-cooked portobello mushrooms or slow-cooked lentils.
- Add additional vegetables: If desired, add additional vegetables to the slow cooker, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, or carrots.
- Change the flavor: You can experiment with different seasonings, such as Italian herbs and cajun seasoning, or even add a bit of Sriracha for some heat.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store the au jus separately in a jar with a lid.
Freezing: Freeze the slow-cooked beef by first allowing it to cool completely before transferring it into a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze the au just by storing it in a mason jar with a tightly sealed lid. Slow-cooked beef will last up to 3 months in the freezer, while au jus should last for six months.
French dip sandwiches are usually served with a side of chips, French fries, or even a small salad or roasted vegetables.
No, slow cooking on high will result in tough and dry beef. For best results, slow cook it on LOW for 7-8 hours.
The main difference between French dip and Italian beef is the seasoning. French dip slow-cooked in the slow cooker with au jus and onion soup mix, while Italian beef slow-cooks with an Italian seasoning blend, such as oregano, basil, and garlic powder.
More Slow Cooker Sandwich Recipes
- Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Cream Cheese
- Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pulled Pork
- BBQ Chicken Sliders
- Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches
- Crock Pot Philly Cheesesteak
- Crock Pot Dr. Pepper Chicken
- Crock Pot Crack Chicken
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Crock Pot French Dip Recipe
- Season roast with black pepper and salt and all side. Then set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add butter and melt. Add roast to the skillet and sear all sides for 2-3 minutes. Then add to a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Sprinkle au jus mix and onion soup mix over the roast. Add onions and garlic on top. Then pour beef broth over everything.
- Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until fork tender.
- Remove roast and shred. Strain the broth to dip the sandwiches in.
- Put two pieces of cheese on each hoagie bun and place them on a baking sheet. Broil until the cheese has melted. It takes about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the shredded beef to the toasted buns.
- Serve with broth, and enjoy!
- Add 3 tbsp of cornstarch and ¼ cup of water to a small bowl for a thicker sauce. Whisk until well combined. Pour into the broth and whisk until the sauce starts to thicken.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.