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French Dip Sandwich

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sweetpickles Jan 20, 2008 07:24 AM

I'm looking to update this treat that my dad used to make when I was a kid. I'm thinking I'll buy some good roast beef, butter and toast some crusty rolls, and maybe add a slice of horseradish cheddar. But the au jus part has me stumped. I've never made it before. Can I just spice up some regular old consomme or is there a better way to do this?
Does anyone else have a favorite way to make this?

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  1. soypower RE: sweetpickles Jan 20, 2008 07:33 AM

    when my family owned a sandwich shop, one of my favorite things to do was to put some roast beef, jalapeno peppers, onions and provolone on a french roll and press it in a pannini press. we used to have this big container of au jus powder that i mixed w/ hot water. not your traditional french dip, more like a philly steak sub dipped in au jus. nevertheless, it was mighty tasty.

    9 Replies
    1. re: soypower
      ccbweb RE: soypower Jan 20, 2008 12:24 PM

      I haven't tried the Knorr packaged Au Jus mix, but I've found several of their other products to be good to excellent. You might give that a shot.

      1. re: ccbweb
        k
        kkbriggs RE: ccbweb Jan 21, 2008 05:37 AM

        The Johnny's brand au jus in a small plastic bottle is actually decent, too, especially if you're not going to have pan juices.

        1. re: kkbriggs
          danhole RE: kkbriggs Jan 21, 2008 05:57 AM

          This is also what I use! It is really good, and not very salty. Johnny's is the best.

          1. re: danhole
            chef chicklet RE: danhole Jan 21, 2008 11:26 AM

            Johnny's is pretty good you're right. I make French Dips often for a quick and satisfying dinner.

            But what turns them into something a little different for us, is I'll grill red onions with olive oil, and let them caramelize (2 onions) Then I add that to the au jus. While that simmers, butter the soft French rolls grill them lightly, add the stack of rare roast beef that has been lightly warmed for a few seconds with the au jus (don't want to cook it to much), add some thin slices of fontina (for me), or whatever cheese suits my hubby's fancy. Put those quickly under low broil to melt the cheese and then top with top roll dunked a bit in the au jus.

            Served with a scoop of horseradish, (not sour cream mixed), the full strength. Along side pommes frites, tator tots or a green crunchy salad, with a Dijon vinaigrette. Good grief I can't wait til this diet thing is over...

            1. re: chef chicklet
              danhole RE: chef chicklet Jan 21, 2008 11:40 AM

              That's a great idea to add the onions to Johnny's! I'll try that next time. I also use Johnny's, just a dash, when I make a pan sauce for steaks. It adds just the right touch.

            2. re: danhole
              b
              buckeye.mary RE: danhole Mar 11, 2008 07:40 AM

              I want to try making a red wine-marinated steak sandwich, but would like some au jus for dipping. Do you think adding a bit of red wine to a bottle au jus would work well? I would make a homemade au jus, but if I"m grilling the steak, I don't know how I'd get any drippings!

            3. re: kkbriggs
              ccbweb RE: kkbriggs Jan 21, 2008 12:00 PM

              I'm unfamiliar with that brand; I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks!

              1. re: ccbweb
                danhole RE: ccbweb Jan 21, 2008 12:13 PM

                Here is what it looks like:

                http://www.johnnysfinefoods.com/produ...

                It's easy to overlook!

                1. re: ccbweb
                  chef chicklet RE: ccbweb Jan 22, 2008 08:05 AM

                  In almost every market I see that they place it near the steak sauces.

          2. m
            Mellicita RE: sweetpickles Jan 20, 2008 12:19 PM

            For the tastiest way, broil a steak, slice thinly and then you will have the pan juices to make into an au jus for dipping. (add some wine, heat and scrape up the browned bits while the wine reduces, and then add in a bit of beef broth. Homemade stock preferred, otherwise use the best boxed stock you can find such as Kitchen Basics brand or an organic one). Steak really only takes a short time to broil.

            If you are looking for shortcut ways... you might try just buying a small piece of beef bone and boiling it in some store bought stock with a little shallot and thyme to produce a better flavor. For me, plain store bought beef consomme has a bad flavor. I dont think you will enjoy dipping your sandwich in it.

            Its not a french dip, but Tyler Florence has an amazing recipe for the "ultimate steak sandwich". http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

            1. f
              fearlessemily RE: sweetpickles Jan 20, 2008 12:29 PM

              This thread on Gardenweb's cooking forum has one of my favorite ways to make french dip... Using a crockpot and a boneless beef chuck roast, and as it cooks it produces its own fabulous jus...

              http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/...

              2 Replies
              1. re: fearlessemily
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                sweetpickles RE: fearlessemily Jan 22, 2008 02:49 AM

                Since I just got a crockpot, I decided to try this version. It made a delicious au jus, but the beef roast was too dry. I would suggest cooking it for half the time that recipe calls for. Still, with the rich jus, a crusty roll and some horseradish, my craving was satiated.

                1. re: sweetpickles
                  f
                  fearlessemily RE: sweetpickles Jan 22, 2008 05:27 AM

                  Hey Sweetpickles -- I'm glad the recipe satisfied your craving, but sorry the meat was dry. Can I ask what cut of meat you used? Perhaps a fattier roast next time would help? Oh! And it just occured to me. If you have a new crockpot, I have heard that they run MUCH hotter (even on low) than crockpots of the past. So that also might explain the overcookedness...

              2. sirregular RE: sweetpickles Jan 20, 2008 12:35 PM

                American au jus recipes often use soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, white or brown sugar, garlic, onion, or other ingredients to make something more like a gravy.

                Recipes, Restaurant Reviews, Tips and More - My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

                1. crosby_p RE: sweetpickles Jan 21, 2008 03:31 AM

                  Don't tell anyone this is a secret, not chowish at all...BUT. I buy Hormel Roast Beef au jus (it's prepackaged and precooked in the meat section, they also have the beef tips au jus) and some crusty rolls...the recipe is on the package. Just heat the meat, put it on the rolls with cheese, wrap with foil and heat until the cheese melts. In the package the meat comes in...delicious au jus for dipping!!!! Shhhh.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: crosby_p
                    fmed RE: crosby_p Jan 21, 2008 09:47 PM

                    How about a Vietnamese dip - sliced beef on a baguette with carrot and daikon pickle. Some onions and cilantro or Thai basil/mint...then dip in an anise infused jus? Lime, Hoisin and Hot Sauce on the side, of course.

                  2. h
                    happyhomemaker RE: sweetpickles Mar 11, 2008 05:58 PM

                    This is my neighbor's recipe for the beef and au jus to make the most delicious sandwiches.

                    RUMP ROAST WITH AU JUS

                    3 - 5 lb. rump roast
                    1 can Campbell's beef consomme
                    1 can Campbell's french onion soup
                    1 (12 oz.) bottle or can of beer

                    Place roast in a Pam sprayed crockpot. Pour all ingredients over the roast. Cook on high for 7 hours. Remove the roast from the crockpot and let rest for 10 minutes; slice into serving pieces. Serve slices of the roast on a slice of toasted french bread with au jus poured over all. You can also make a wonderful gravy by adding Wondra flour to the au jus.

                    1. MeffaBabe RE: sweetpickles Mar 12, 2008 09:33 AM

                      I myself prefer the Irish Dip- instead of just ordinary au jus I use a homemade ONION SOUP for my dippings! Makes a world of difference in the flavor department.

                      Did anyone see that onion soup mac & cheese on that new FNW show? It sounds yummy.

                      1. k
                        Kaisgraham RE: sweetpickles Mar 12, 2008 12:29 PM

                        I know this isn't exactly what you were asking for but...
                        If you ever feel the need or have the inclination to make your own brisket for french dip sandwiches, you might try this recipe. We make it all the time and everyone always loves it, plus it's really easy.

                        OVEN ROASTED BEEF BRISKET

                        RUB INGREDIENTS:

                        1 Tbsp kosher salt
                        1 Tbsp garlic powder
                        1 Tbsp onion powder
                        1 Tbsp ground black pepper
                        1 Tbsp sugar
                        2 tsp dry mustard
                        1 bay leaf, crushed

                        4 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of fat

                        1 1/2 cups beef stock

                        Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

                        Combine rubπ ingredients and pat well onto brisket on both sides. Place in a roasting pan with the fat side up, and roast, uncovered for 1 hour.

                        Add beef stock and just enough water to yield about 1/2 inch of liquid in the roasting pan. Cover the pan tightly with thick foil. Lower oven to 300 degrees and place roasting pan in oven. Continue cooking for 3 hours or until fork tender. Trim the fat and slice meat thinly across the grain. Top with juices from the pan. This is good served with sandwich rolls and use the pan juices as au jus for dipping!

                        Serves 8+.

                        1. DanaB RE: sweetpickles Mar 12, 2008 12:48 PM

                          I'm sure to put my chow credentials in question with this suggestion, but I make french dips the way my mom did, with leftover roast beef and Lawry's packaged au jus mix. Make the au jus per the package instructions, slice your leftover roast beef and heat in the au jus. Toast french rolls and fill with the hot roast beef slices. Serve with au jus in a small bowl on the side for dipping. Not fancy, but very tasty and always satisfies the french dip cravings when I have them.

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