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Jan 20, 2008 07:24 AM

French Dip Sandwich

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. 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

      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

        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

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

          1. re: danhole

            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

              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

              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

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

                1. re: ccbweb

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

          2. 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".

            1. 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...


              2 Replies
              1. re: fearlessemily

                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

                  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. 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:

                1. 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

                    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.