My kids have been requesting these sandwiches all weekend, so I happily obliged tonight. The beef takes quite a while to cook, but it’s not hands-on, and the sandwiches come together really quickly.   You can make the beef in the slow cooker or in the oven.  Browning the meat first makes a real difference in the flavor of the overall dish, so don’t skip that step!


Classic French Dips


2 pound chuck roast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 box beef stock

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 yellow onion, cut in half

1 tablespoon red wine

4 large, crusty french rolls

4 slices provolone cheese



Generously sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper on both sides.  In a large dutch oven, heat one tablespoon olive oil over high heat.   Brown the roast on all sides, including the short sides.  Add half the onion to the pan and use the onion to prop up the roast to brown the sides.  I learned this trick watching Julia Child when I was a kid (I was really cool).



When all sides are brown, add the beef stock, and scrape the bottom of the pan to release the browned bits.    Add the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf and cook in a 250 degree oven for 5-6 hours.   You can also transfer the browned roast to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.



When roast is ready, preheat oven to 450.  Remove roast from slow cooker, shred the meat, and set aside.  Remove onion hunks and strain the juice through a fine sieve.  On the stovetop, bring the liquid to a boil.  Add a tablespoon red wine (or more to taste) and reduce liquid by about 1/4.


Cut the rolls in half and assemble the sandwiches on a cookie sheet.  Cook at 450 until cheese is melted.  Serve with the au jus on the side. Explain to kids that au jus is a dip and watch the smiles!