This Slow Cooker French Dip recipe features succulent beef slow cooked in a flavorful broth, served on toasty rolls with melted cheese and extra au jus for dipping!
Winter is the perfect time to rely on that trusty, effortless kitchen appliance known as the slow cooker! And thanks to recipes like this hearty, succulent, bursting-with-flavor French Dip sandwich, I'm not even sad.
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, this French Dip recipe is the way to go!
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's 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 has a moistmaker as well and it's the jus, which is just the fancy French term for the cooking juices that the beef was cooked in.
You'll hardly believe that such a simple recipe can yield such a flavorful outcome.
Truly...it doesn't get any easier than this, folks!
French Dip Ingredients
You just need a handful of ingredients to yield meaty, savory, delicious French Dip sandwiches.
- Chuck roast. Chuck roast has an amount of marbling just made for slow cooking. You may certainly trim off any large pieces of fat from the outer edges of the roast before cooking. But I never worry about it too much. Most of the fat melts down and can be skimmed from the cooking juices later. If you opt to use a leaner cut of roast, just keep in mind that your beef may not turn out as tender and juicy.
- Beef broth. You may use homemade beef stock, cartons of beef broth, or -- my favorite in slow cooker recipes -- Organic Better Than Bouillon Beef Base. 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 love this substitute, the organic version of which contains only ingredients that I am actually able to spell and pronounce. And one jar of this stuff goes a long way!
- Dark beer. Nobody will guess that the depth of flavor of this jus is achieved thanks to dark beer. I promise that the final result tastes nothing like beer, so don't let that scare you away. Living in Texas, my dark beer of choice is Shiner Bock.
- Garlic. When it comes to this French Dip recipe, I'm of the opinion that the more garlic, the better! I like to use fresh minced garlic in most recipes. But since crock pot recipes cook for so long, I find that jarred minced garlic (the kind that must be refrigerated) works great.
- Worcestershire sauce. This ingredient adds yet another layer of flavor to the jus.
- Herbs and spices. Namely dried thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper. I'm usually pretty generous with the pepper up front. As for the salt, you should definitely use enough to bring out the beefy flavor of the jus. But keep in mind that the bouillon base I recommend is pretty salty, just like bouillon cubes or granules would be. So I typically don't add extra salt at the beginning of the recipe. However, if the cooking juices taste bland at the end of the cooking time, I season with more salt before serving.
How to Make It
- Trim the roast (if desired) and plop it in the bottom of your crock pot.
- Pour/sprinkle the remaining ingredients on top, which will meld together and ultimately serve as the "dip" for your French Dip.
- Slow cook all day.
- Transfer the roast to a cutting board. Discard the fat and shred or slice the meat.
- Skim the fat from the cooking juices. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- 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 jus (AKA, cooking broth) on the side.
The bottom line is that these French Dip sandwiches are quick and easy to throw together, and they receive rave reviews from every member of our household, kids and adults alike.
So when life is crazy, do yourself a favor and dust off the ol' crock pot. And when you do, be sure to try this French Dip recipe! You just can't beat coming home and having dinner waiting on you...especially when it's as mouthwatering as this one.
More Crock Pot Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Shredded Beef Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork Sliders with Creamy Broccoli Slaw
- Chicken Sloppy Joes from the Crock Pot
- Slow Cooker Meatball Subs
Slow Cooker French Dip Recipe
- 3 pound chuck roast
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- French baguette, French rolls, hoagie rolls, or other crusty bread , for serving
- Slices of provolone, Swiss, or mozzarella cheese, for serving
- Trim excess fat from the roast and place it in the bottom of a large slow cooker. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or longer (the longer, the better).
- Split open your rolls (and spread with butter, if desired) and arrange on a baking sheet. Heat the split rolls in a toaster oven until toasted, or bake in a regular oven set to 350°F until warm and toasty (about 10 minutes).
- Remove the roast to a cutting board and skim the fat from the cooking juices. Season the cooking juices with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Pull the beef into chunks or slice it against the grain (assuming it doesn't fall apart). Pile the meat on top of the toasted rolls, place slices of cheese over the meat, and place back in the toaster oven (or under the broiler) for a few minutes until just melted.
- Serve hot sandwiches with a small bowls of reserved cooking juices (jus) for dipping.
- I use Shiner Bock for my dark beer.
- I like to use fresh minced garlic in most recipes, but since crock pot recipes cook for so long, I find that jarred minced garlic (the kind that must be refrigerated) works great.
- If you don't use a chuck roast, be sure to choose a well-marbled roast for the most tender slow cooked beef.
- If I'm around, I like to flip my roast over halfway through the cooking time. But it's not necessary if you're not home.
Post originally published on August 13, 2013, and updated on August 31, 2019.