With the first day of school on the horizon, my meal planning has turned from dinners on the grill back to the offerings of my trusty, effortless slow cooker.
There’s no question that a crock pot is ideal for cooking roast. But if you want to take that same cut of beef and branch out a bit from the ordinary, French dip sandwiches are the way to go.
You’ll hardly believe that such a simple recipe can yield such a flavorful outcome. It doesn’t get any easier than this, folks. Mix together a few ingredients that will end up serving as the “dip” in your French dip. Then plop in your roast, slow cook all day, and serve the succulent, falling-apart beef on a toasty baguette with plenty of provolone cheese melted over the top and, of course, a generous crock of the cooking broth on the side.
Bear with me for a moment, but when the crunchy bread soaks up that deep, savory beef broth, I’m reminded of the episode of Friends when Ross’ leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwich gets stolen out of the refrigerator at work. He is highly upset because he doesn’t get to enjoy his once-a-year sandwich with its piece of gravy-soaked bread in the center dubbed “the moistmaker.”
Well, this French dip sandwich has a moistmaker as well and it’s the jus, which is just the fancy French term for the juices/gravy that the meat was cooked in. Nobody would ever be able to guess that the depth of flavor of this jus is thanks to dark beer. I promise that the final result tastes nothing like beer, so don’t let that scare you away. As for the beef broth component of the jus, I use one of my favorite secret ingredients:
As if the Friends episode wasn’t off-topic enough, allow me to go off on another brief tangent to share with you this favorite pantry staple of mine. I use this beef base all the time in gravies, sauces, soups, stews, beans, etc. If you’ve ever read the back of a jar of standard chicken or beef bouillon granules or cubes, you might be alarmed to find that its ingredients aren’t exactly straightforward. So I was thrilled to find this substitute, the organic version of which contains only ingredients that I am actually able to spell and pronounce. One jar of this stuff goes a long way. I always keep jars of BTB chicken, beef, and vegetable base handy in my fridge (I believe they make a turkey flavor, too), and I use them regularly. However, it should be noted that, like bouillon granules or cubes, this bouillon paste is pretty salty, so I typically find that additional salt is unnecessary when I use it. And no, I am not being compensated to rave…I just love this stuff. 😉
And now back to your regularly scheduled recipe…
The bottom line is that this recipe is quick and easy to throw together, and it receives rave reviews from every member of our household, from the baby to the picky preschooler to the grown-ups. So as life gets crazy once more with the beginning of a new school year, do yourself a favor and dust off the ole’ crock pot. And when you do, be sure to try this recipe! You just can’t beat coming home and having dinner waiting on you, especially when it’s as mouthwatering as this one.
Adapted from AllRecipes.
More quick, easy, and delicious crock pot suppers…