An easy recipe for crock pot French dip sandwiches that are melt in your mouth tender and bursting with wonderful taste. Easy to follow step by step photo instructions. A casual dining delight.
Editor's Note: Originally published March 12, 2016. Updated with improved discussion and updated photos.
A Two Short Paragraph Story (skip if you want):
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... now I didn't have the ingredients for that recipe, so a little Google and 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. 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 the cooking juice for dipping.
My wife has already awarded it the recipe of the year.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Crock Pot French Dip
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.
We had a nice top round roast, but an eye of round would be nice. Some recipes called for a chuck roast, but then more trimming would be needed at the slicing time.
I think it is great to brown the meat some and also precook the onions a bit although a lot of the crock pot French dip recipes skipped these steps.
Use a mild creamy type of cheese for French Dip Sandwiches like provolone cheese which is my choice as the best choice. Mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese would also be good choices 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 dipping sauce.
- Store meat and juice seperately. Good in refigerator for 3-4 days. Also should freeze well.
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 onion 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.
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 tops of buns for a brief time.
Serve with the cooking solution for dipping.
Crock Pot French Dip
- 3 pound 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 teaspoon oil and when hot brown the roast. About three minutes per side.
- Move roast to the crock pot. Add two large sliced onion 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 final 2 hours.
- 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 tops of buns for a brief time.
- Serve with the cooking solution for dipping.
- Choose a beef roast that has some marbling. But avoid a roast that has too much connective tissue that you will need to sort out later.
- The crock pot needs to be big enough for the beef to fine with some space around it. 3 ½ qt or above will probably be fine depending on shape of meat and the crock pot.
- Brown the beef before adding to the crock pot will add good flavor to the beef.
- Cook the onion a bit before adding to 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. avoid strong cheeses like sharp cheddar.
Originally published March 12, 2016