An easy recipe for crock pot French dip sandwiches that are melt in your mouth tender and bursting with a wonderful flavor. Topped with cheese and dipped in au jus, it is a casual dining delight.
I came home from work last week, and my wife was smiling... an "I have an idea" smile. She shows me a nice-looking beef roast and dummy me said, ok roast beef for Sunday family company, and I started talking side dishes.
She interrupted, saying that "you're doing French dip." Now I love French dip, and it has become my standard lunch if we're out and about. And I have become a real critic.
She even had the recipe. I didn't have the ingredients for that recipe, so a little Google, a little from this, and some from that recipe. I had a plan.
Start with a nicely trimmed beef roast. Brown to get some Maillard reaction, cook in a crock pot in a nice juice and in caramelized onions. Then, slice about 2 hours before done and finish cooking for ultra-tender wonderfully tasty meat.
Serve on a hoagie bun after topping with cheese and browning under the broiler. Finally, serve au jus which happens to be the cooking liquid.
My wife has already awarded it the recipe of the year.
Your beef roast needs to be nicely trimmed, so you don't have to pick out uneatable things. And it has to have good marbling to be tender. Two to three pounds will do nicely.
The beef choice is up to you. Sirloin and eye of round are commonly recommended but maybe a bit lean. A nice chuck roast is a good choice. My favorite is an English cut chuck roast.
I think it is great to brown the meat some and also precook the onions although a lot of the crock pot French dip recipes skipped these steps—it will add flavor.
Use a mild creamy type of cheese for French Dip Sandwiches like provolone or mozzarella cheese which is my choice as the best choice.
Monterey Jack cheese would also be good choice but avoid strongly flavored cheeses like sharp cheddar which will mask the flavor of your sandwich.
- The Worcestershire Sauce and soy sauce makes the beef stand up and scream beef.
- Beef broth has improved a lot in recent years and is worth using.
- The beef is cut across grain just to make it easier to shred after it is cooked a few hours more. You don't want long strands of beef.
- The liquid in the crock pot is the perfect au jus for dipping.
- Store meat and juice separately. Good in refrigerator for 3-4 days. Also should freeze well for about 3 months.
Start with a nicely trimmed beef roast. Salt and pepper to taste.
Over medium-high heat, add two teaspoon oil, and when hot, brown the roast for about 3 minutes per side. Then move roast to the crock pot.
Add two large sliced onions to the pan and cook for a few minutes until clearing then add two cloves of garlic and cook one more minute. Move to the crock pot.
Add two cups beef broth, ¼ cup soy sauce, and two tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
Cook on low for 7 hours but at the 5-hour mark remove meat and slice across the grain into ¼ inch slices and
Return to the crock pot to cook for the final 2 hours.
At the end of cooking, break up the slices a little to make serving easier.
To serve, cut hoagie buns into half. Top the bottom half with meat and provolone cheese—Cook under a broiler for a few minutes until cheese is nicely brown. Also, toast the tops of buns for a brief time.
Serve with the cooking solution as au jus for dipping.
Crock Pot French Dip
- 2-3 pounds beef roast
- 2 onions - large sliced
- 2 cloves garlic - crushed
- 2 cups beef broth
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Hoagie buns
- Provolone cheese
- Start with a nicely trimmed beef roast. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Over medium-high heat add two teaspoons of oil and when hot brown the roast. About three minutes per side. Move roast to the crock pot.
- Add two large sliced onions to the pan, and cook for a few minutes until clearing, then add two cloves of garlic, and cook one more minute—move to the crock pot.
- Add two cups beef broth, ¼ cup soy sauce, and two tablespoons Worcestershire sauce—mix well.
- Cook on low for 7 hours, but at the 5-hour mark, remove meat, and slice across the grain into ¼ inch slices,
- Return to the crock pot to cook for the final 2 hours.
- At the end of cooking, I like to break the slices up a bit to make serving easier.
- To serve, cut hoagie buns into half. Top the bottom half with meat and provolone cheese. Cook under a broiler for a few minutes until cheese is nicely brown. Also, toast the tops of buns for a brief time.
- Serve with the cooking solution as au jus for dipping.
- An easy recipe to adjust both in size and taste.
- Avoid a roast that has too much connective tissue that you will need to sort out later. The beef choice is up to you. Sirloin and eye of round are commonly recommended but a nice chuck roast is a good choice. My favorite is an English cut chuck roast.
- The crock pot needs to be big enough for the beef to have some space around it.
- Brown the beef before adding it to the crock pot will add good flavor to the beef.
- Cook the onion a bit before adding it to the crock pot.
- Cut the beef across the grain.
- Use the cheese of your choice, but provolone cheese is my first choice, followed by mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese. But avoid strong cheeses like sharp cheddar.
- Store leftovers refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Store the au jus separate from the meat.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Originally published March 12, 2016. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.