Crock Pot French Dip sandwiches are a favorite at our house! Set and forget, and perfect for feeding a crowd! Serve with or without onions for a dinner win!
I love yummy crock pot recipes. They’re my favorite when I don’t want to worry about cooking a whole meal later in the day, or if I’m feeding a big group. I can let my slow cooker do the work and reap the rewards later! My husband is a huge French dip fan, so when my girlfriend Marie shared her crock pot french dip recipe with me I had to make it ASAP. You guys, one bite and we were hooked! The beef has a rich flavor and since we used chuck roast, there’s this great fat aspect. (This isn’t as weird as it sounds, promise.) I like mine with onions and Mike takes them without. Either way, these sandwiches are a hit! Great for watching a football game, or an easy dinner during the week with roasted red potatoes.
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Why is a French called a French dip?
There are a couple different stories surrounding the name and origin of the French Dip sandwich.
- Story #1 – In 1981 Los Angeles, CA at Philippe The Orignal, Philippe Mathieu made a hot beef sandwich for a police officer. While making it, the bun fell into the roasting juices, but the officer told him he’d take the sandwich just like that. The next day the officer came back with friends asking for more dipped sandwiches. “French” comes from either Philippe’s heritage, the French rolls that are used, or because the officer’s name was French.
- Story #2 – A different Los Angeles diner claims the owner first made the sandwich after a customer complained the bread was too hard. He’d recently had dental work done, so the sandwich was dipped in the pan juices to soften it up.
This is going to be super easy. Are you ready?
How to Make French Dip
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil.
Liberally season both sides of the roast with salt and pepper. Sear the roast in hot oil for 2-3 minuter per side until a nice crust forms. Transfer to your slow cooker.
To the slow cooker add beef consommé, french onion soup, beer, onion, and garlic powder. Move everything around a bit to mix the liquids and seasoning together.
Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 1/2 hours.
Remove lid and take out the roast. Place roast on a cutting board. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions, and place them in a bowl for later. Strain the cooking liquid into a fat separator (or a bowl) and let sit. In the meantime, rough chop or shred the roast. Then pour the fat off the cooking liquid (or skim off fat if in a bowl) and transfer to ramekins for serving.
Assemble sandwiches by dividing the meat among the rolls. Top with a slice of provolone cheese that’s been cut in half and lay over the beef to cover the whole sandwich. Add cooked onions if desired. Serve immediately with au jus (reserved cooking liquid).
If you want, you can open your rolls and put them on a baking sheet, cut side up, and lightly spread with butter or olive oil. Preheat oven broiler on low and toast for a few minutes until golden. We don’t always do this, but it adds a great texture, more flavor, and it helps the bread not get so soggy from the French Dip au jus.
What is French dip sauce made of?
- The sauce is an au jus. Basically, the juices from the roasting pan (or in this case the slow cooker) left after cooking the beef are used as the sauce. Waste not, want not.
Is beef consommé the same as au jus?
Nope! They are not the same.
- Beef consomme is a clear soup made from stock, meats, mirepoix (carrots, celery & onion), tomato, and egg whites. This soup is cooked and the top floating “raft” from the egg whites is skimmed off. Then the soup is then filtered and processed until all the fat has been removed.
- Au jus (ah-zhoo…it sounds almost like a sneeze) means “with juice”. It’s the pan juices left after roasting meat, specifically beef. The fats and any sediment are left for flavor.
What is the difference between French dip and Italian beef?
Both a French dip sandwich recipe and Italian beef start with a beef roast and they are served on rolls. But here’s the difference:
- French dip are topped with cheese and onions. The rolls are quickly dipped in au just or the sauce is served on the side.
- Italian beef is topped with sweet peppers or Giardiniera, and sometimes cheese. Sauce served on the side is optional. I like turning this beef into Italian Beef Sliders for football games.
Try these easy dinner ideas!
Beef recipes you will love!
- Swedish Meatballs
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Easy Baked Beef Taquitos
- Bourbon Bacon Roast Beef Sliders
- More beef recipes
- 4 French sandwich rolls
- 4 slices Provolone cheese
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil.
- Liberally season both sides of the roast with salt and pepper. Sear the roast in hot oil for 2-3 minuter per side until a nice crust forms. Transfer to your slow cooker.
- To the slow cooker add beef consommé, french onion soup, beer, onion, and garlic powder. Move everything around a bit to mix the liquids and seasoning together.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 1/2 hours.
- Remove lid and take out the roast. Place on a cutting board. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions; place in a bowl. Strain the cooking liquid into a fat separator (or a bowl) and let sit. Rough chop or shred the roast. Pour the fat off the cooking liquid (or skim off fat if in a bowl) and transfer to small bowls for serving.
- Assemble sandwiches by dividing the meat among the rolls. Top with a slice of cheese that's been cut in half and lay over the top to cover the whole sandwich. Top with cooked onions if desired. Serve immediately with au jus (strained cooking liquid).
- If you want to leave out the beer, add 1 more can of beef consommé instead.
- Sometimes we like to toast our rolls before and it's delicious! It adds another layer of flavor and texture. It also helps the bread stay together with all that au jus.