French Dip Sandwiches – a classic sandwich made with the ease of a slow cooker! Tender roast beef, flavorful au jus, and melted provolone cheese come together for a mouthwatering experience.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zoup! Good, Really Good®. All opinions are 100% mine.
It wasn’t until I moved to California that I met my first French Dip Sandwich. I’ll never forget the wonder of dunking the sandwich into the flavorful broth; my tastebuds were greeted by tender roast beef, the jus soaking into the toasted bread, and I wondered, why don’t we always dip our sandwiches in broth?
Several years later, I scanned menus in cafes in France, wondering if they offered the sandwich, but I learned that, like the French fry, the sandwich is actually an American invention, and not without controversy!
French Dip Sandwich Origin (A Controversy!)
Despite its name, the French Dip Sandwich, it turns out, is not a French classic but has its roots in Los Angeles. There are conflicting stories about the rightful origins – some point to Philippe The Original, who claims that Philippe Mathieu, invented the sandwich in 1918 when he inadvertently dropped the French sandwich roll into a roasting pan filled with juice fresh from the oven. Others say that the sandwich originated at Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet 10 years earlier, possibly for a customer who suffered from sensitive teeth after a visit to the dentist – the broth was meant to soften the bread!
We may never know its true origin, but we can safely say that the French dip sandwich was created in Los Angeles and is now a beloved classic. It is one of my favorites and so easy to make at home!
What is a French Dip Sandwich
A traditional French Dip Sandwich has several components: roast beef, spicy mustard, melted cheese, a French sandwich roll, and hot au jus (broth) for dipping. However, I love how the magic of the slow cooker can transform a large roast into the most tender morsels, leaving the bulk of your hands-on cooking to the last minutes of assembly. My version is made with juicy slow-cooked beef, on a toasted bun with horseradish mayonnaise and melty provolone!
Broth for Au Jus
Let’s talk about the au jus for a moment. To me, this broth is the star of the French Dip. I braise the roast in a good quality beef broth, and I love using Zoup! Good, Really Good® Culinary Concentrate™️ Beef Base with Bone Broth for this recipe. Made in small batches, it creates a delicious sipping broth and adds a homemade flavor to recipes like this! I especially love that there are no artificial flavors, ingredients, preservatives, inexpensive fillers, or added sugar. I always keep a jar in the refrigerator to be ready at a moment’s notice.
The Zoup! Good, Really Good® Culinary Concentrate lineup includes beef, chicken and savory vegan bases — I used the vegan base in my recipe for Steamed Clams with Broth, and it’s delicious! You can find the concentrates at select retailers across the country and online at ZoupBroth.com and Amazon.com
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So, while the broth works its magic, transforming the beef into succulent meat for the sandwich, the resulting broth is perfect for dipping!
Cut for Slow Cooker Roast Beef
I recommend a boneless beef chuck roast for this type of slow cooker cooking. Cut from the shoulder and neck areas, this may be a tougher cut, but it tenderizes beautifully when slow-cooked. It may also be labeled chuck shoulder, shoulder roast, shoulder steak, or simply pot roast.
How to Make a French Dip Sandwich in the Slow Cooker
Alright, let’s get started with the recipe!
- Begin by generously seasoning the roast with salt and pepper on all sides, followed by a light coating of flour.
- If your slow cooker comes equipped with a sear function, preheat it; otherwise, use a heavy pan, such as a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat on the stove.
- Once the pan is sufficiently hot, add olive oil and sear the roast for 3-4 minutes per side until it evenly browned on all sides. Set it aside.
- In the slow cooker insert, combine beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, sliced onions, and a bay leaf. Place the seared roast in the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours until the meat is tender.
- Transfer the roast to a cutting board and slice it into 1/4”-thick slices.
- Strain the broth, removing the bay leaf and any remaining thyme sprigs. Return the onions and sliced beef to the slow cooker, adding just enough broth to maintain moisture. Keep the reserved jus warm in a separate saucepan, adjusting the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
- Toast the rolls.
- While the rolls are toasting, whisk together mayonnaise and horseradish. Spread a thin layer on the toasted rolls.
- Top the rolls with slices of beef, onions, and cheese, and place them under a broiler to melt. Serve with the reserved jus. Dip, bite, and enjoy!
More Sandwich Recipes
Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with the Zoup! Good Really Good. Thank you for supporting brands that matter to me; sponsored posts such as this help behind the scenes at Kitchen Confidante. All opinions in this post are, as always, my own.
Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches with Au Jus
- 2 1/4 lb beef chuck roast boneless, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups beef broth made with Zoup! Good, Really Good® Culinary Concentrate™️ Beef Base with Bone Broth (see notes below)
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 medium yellow onions halved and sliced in 1/4-inch pieces
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- French sandwich rolls
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 teaspoons horseradish
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- Season the roast generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Lightly coat the roast with flour on all sides.
- If the slow cooker insert has a sear function, preheat it. Otherwise, heat a heavy pan, such as a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat on the stove.
- When the insert or pan is hot, add the olive oil and sear the roast for about 3-4 minutes per side until it is evenly browned on all sides. Set it aside.
- In the insert of a slow cooker, mix beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, sliced onions, and bay leaf. Add the beef to the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours until the meat is tender.
- Transfer the roast to a cutting board. Slice the beef into 1/4”-thick slices.
- Strain the broth and discard the bay leaf and any remaining thyme sprigs. Return the onions and sliced beef to the slow cooker. Add just enough broth to keep the meat moist. Keep the reserved jus warm in a separate saucepan, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Toast your rolls.
- While the rolls are toasting, whisk together the mayonnaise and horseradish. Spread a thin layer on the toasted rolls.
- Top with slices of beef, some onions, and cheese, and place under a broiler to melt. Serve with reserved jus.