Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich

French Dip Sandwich

If you’ve never had a French dip sandwich, you’re missing out. The sandwich starts out with beef that is roasted until extremely tender, which is then thinly sliced and put onto a not-too-crusty roll, either with or without cheese. The juice from cooking the meat is collected, seasoned and poured into a small dish. As you eat the sandwich, you dip each bite into the juices on the side, making the meat extra juicy and getting a huge boost of flavor.

The sandwich is not french at all. The name comes from the fact that it is made with a french roll – a medium sized white bread roll that resembles a baguette with a softer crust and makes good sandwiches in general – and it is dipped into beef juices as you eat it. Dipping does not make the bread soggy, much as dipping a cookie into a glass of milk does not make it soggy as long as you pick up the cookie and eat the milk-soaked bit immediately; prolonged soaking will cause sogginess, but that is why the sandwich is called a dip and not a soak.

I love this sandwich, but not all restaurants do it well, so I’ve been wanting to try and make it at home for some time. I started with an extremely popular recipe from Allrecipes that calls for using a slow cooker to make the meat tender. I used the same technique, but changed some of the flavoring ingredients and used a different cut of beef. The result was amazing. The beef was incredibly flavorful, as was the “au jus” that the recipe produced. I made three huge sandwiches with it but if I had used smaller rolls, I would have been able to easily satisfy 4-6 people. This is definitely a new staple recipe for me.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
approx 3 1/2 lbs beef chuck roast
16-oz. beef broth (1 1/2 cans)
1 10.5-oz. can condensed French onion soup
6-oz red wine
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
4-6 French rolls
sliced provolone cheese, optional

Trim excess fat off of beef roast and season meat all over with salt and pepper.
Pour beef broth, condensed French onion soup, red wine and garlic powder into slow cooker and place beef roast into liquid.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Slow cookers have different time intervals that you can select, so work with your cooker. Depending on how the settings on your slow cooker work, the time will vary. Since this is cooking in liquid, you don’t have to worry about the meat drying out in the same way you might if you were roasting the meat in the oven. Mine took 7 1/2 hours and was falling apart tender.
Take beef out and rest it, covered with aluminum foil, for about 15 minutes. Slice beef and return to slow cooker on low or very low for 30 minutes.
Lightly toast the bread and evenly distribute cheese between rolls, if using. Divide beef onto rolls and spoon the beef juice* into ramekins or other small bowls and eat everything while it is hot. Serve each sandwich with its own dip.

Seves 4-6.

*Note: If there is excess fat in your au jus, simply pour it from the slow cooker into a large measuring cup and let it stand for about 5 minutes so the fat separates. Skim it off, then pour the juice into serving cups.

118 comments

  1. That looks so good! I’ve had French dips that are good and some that weren’t so good at restaurants. I may have to try this one.

  2. Oh my. That looks terrific. Cooler weather wil be hitting the southern hemisphere soon and I’ll be cranking up the crockpot. This is definitely on my list of things to try.

  3. I’m saving this recipe right now. This was my absolute favorite food in the world when I was in college; I used to eat a French Dip sandwich at least once a week.

  4. My new slow cooker will be very happy to have me cook this dish in it!

  5. Oh, man, I just gave up red meat for health reasons a month ago, but this recipe doesn’t make it easy! That looks amazing!

  6. I love french onion soup! We are travelling and i don’t have my slow cooker now but i can’t wait to try this recipe out.

  7. Similar to one that a friend shared about 5 years ago… in that one, you put in two envelopes of Good Seasons Italian Dressing and 2 cups of water. To make it even better, half an hour before serving, stir in half a jar of either sandwich pepper rings (mild) or Giardinera (spicy). YUM! I need to make some soon… :)

  8. French dip sandwiches are my favorite–even my supremely health-conscious mother will indulge in a warm French dip with steak fries at our neighborhood family restaurant. It’s such great, simple comfort food! Thanks for the slow-cooker idea, what a treat!

  9. This is one of my favorite sandwich! I’m saving this recipe!

  10. This looked so good that I had to make it last night. It was delicious.
    Can’t wait to have leftovers tonight!

  11. Oh, I love French Dip sandwiches, but you are right that so many restaurants botch them up with yucky overly-fatty meat. This one looks really good!

  12. Once again, I was not disappointed when I tried this recipe! Thank you! We had a few people over and we pigged out on these delicious sandwiches. The provolone was so necessary. Served with succulent asparagus. I really enjoy your simple, tasty, flavorful recipes!

  13. I am definitely going to save this one! We recently tried a slow cooker french dip and it didn’t turn out quite so well, so looking forward to trying this.

  14. we made this last night and it was insane. make it and eat it, you won’t be disappointed.

  15. We made this and it was incredible! Easy and delicious! The meat was so tender it shredded rather than sliced. We put it on ciabatta rolls and grilled them in the panini maker. I guess you could say we had Italian Dip sandwiches. They were great. Thanks for the recipe.

  16. Could you use a dutch oven for this recipe? My crock pot is on the fritz, but I’d love to make it!
    Would you simply cook it on low for 7 hrs on the stove?
    Thanks,
    Carrie

  17. I tried this recipe and it was absolutely divine! I also was able to use leftovers to make some tasty beef barley soup. I hope you don’t mind that I posted your recipe on my food blog as well (come check it out!) with plenty of credit and links. If it’s a problem, let me know and I’ll take it down.

    I love your blog and check it out frequently. Thanks for all the tasty recipes and info! Being new to the food blogging world, any advice you have for a novice would be greatly appreciated :)

  18. We just made this last night and it was *delicious*! Thank you so much for this recipe — I am excited to have another easy slow cooker dish!

  19. There are three different possible sources for the name of this sandwich: 1. The originator was French; 2. The roll it is served on is French; 3. French was the last name of the first person to eat one. To check out the story, go to the website for the restaurant that invented the French Dip sandwich: http://www.philippes.com

  20. Thanks so much for this recipe! I’ve made it a few times now and it’s always delicious.

  21. Made this last night and am going to make your pulled pork recipe over the weekend. Yummy!!!

  22. My family LOVED this and the pulled pork. My husband would like to have this every day.

  23. This was so yummy! Thanks for the amazing recipes, I want to look through the rest of your recipes! Thanks!

  24. I am so glad I found this just in time for the weekend! Thanks for sharing!

  25. I’m nervous I’m going to put too much salt and pepper…I’m a beginning cook, so any advice I’d love! I don’t know why I’m so nervous, I just dont want to ruin it!

  26. SOUNDS DELISH…IS IT RED WINE OR RED WINE VINEGAR?

  27. I am so happy I found this. French Dips are a sort of comfort food for me. A Los Angeles native, I crave them from Philippe’s (the spot they were invented). But now I’m far from home, and I can’t wait to make them this weekend!

  28. This recipe is DELISH!!! My husband and I have already made it twice & easiest thing ever to make!

  29. I made this on 10/30/2011 and it was a really good sandwich! I used Merlot for the red wine, and a loaf of french bread, along with provolone cheese. I cooked on high for 4 hours, but think I will cook on low next time. I still haven’t figured out how to slice the meat so it doesn’t come out like beef stew!

  30. This was good, I will say that our chuck roast did not slice. It was more like shredded pot roast sandwich, which was still very good, I must say. I am not sure which cut of meat that would give you more of a sliced sandwich. If anyone knows, I would love to know also:) This was simple and good. We served on little ciabatta buns.

  31. I love French dips and I love my slow cooker…so glad I found this recipe!

  32. i have the same question as someone else…red wine or red wine vinegar? thanks

  33. Great recipe! I used horseradish cheese instead of the provolone. It really complimented the beef.

  34. For those asking: Use Red Wine! 6 oz. of red wine vinegar would not be so great…

  35. What kind of red wine?

  36. What if you don’t have the wine. Do you reccomend something else, or would it be okay to just leave it out altogether?

  37. THe secret to slicing this without having it become pulled beef is to make it the day before you need it. Put the cooked beef in the fridge (along with the yummy juices) overnight. Once it’s cold, it slices like a dream. Just like at the deli!

  38. We tried this recipe today and they turned out fantastic. We used Merlot as our red wine and I used those new Knorr Homemade stock concentrate with boiling water. The flavor was amazing! I agree with the others that my chuck roast shredded more than sliced, but it was still delicious nonetheless.

  39. I made this yesterday for dinner. OMGosh it was so darn YUMMY!!!!!! Toasted bread nice crisp. It was great for lunch today to

  40. Just finished dinner & that was DELICIOUS!!! Thanks for a great recipe! Shredded more than sliced here, too, but….YUM.

  41. Made this tonight, it was delicious!! Thanks :)

  42. Best French Dip EVER. Go-to recipe always.

  43. this was amazing, my husband said it was his favorite thing I’ve ever made! This will be a regular meal in our menu! Thanks

  44. Oh, dear goodness. This looks so good.

  45. Made this a few months ago and was chowing down on it for a few weeks, there was alot and IT WAS SO GOOD. Thank you!

  46. I was so excited when I found this receipe, because I knew my husband loved to order this at resturants. He didn’t care for the beef chuck roast because it was shredded. Any suggestions??

  47. Tried this recipe twice. First time outstanding – second time I tried a leaner cut of beef and it wasn’t near as good. Stick with the chuck roast and skim the excess fat from the au jus.

  48. Bought a tiny crock pot since I live alone. I was the envy of all my co-workers with this. It is so good and I have another roast just wating to be prepared…thanks

  49. Jennifer Rodman

    I have never, EVER had a french dip sandwich believe it or not, but since I’ve discovered that I’m anemic I’ve been craving beef and trying to get more of it into my diet. This is tomorrow night’s dinner and I can’t wait to try it. We don’t have ‘chuck’ roast here in Canada so I opted for a cut that was recommended by my butcher.

  50. this looks amazing. planning to make it for a big event. silly question though – if I would like to serve about 2-3x as many people, can I just double or triple the recipe or do slow cooker recipes not work as well like that?

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