If you’re a fan of hearty sandwiches and rich, savory flavors, then French Dip Au Jus is undoubtedly a dish you need to try. Originating in Los Angeles in the early 20th century, this sandwich is a perfect harmony of tender roasted beef, crusty bread, and a delightful dipping sauce known as “au jus.” If you’ve been wondering how to recreate this iconic dish at home, you’re in for a treat. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of making the perfect French Dip Au Jus.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the Roast Beef
- 3 pounds of beef roast (such as top sirloin, prime rib, or chuck roast)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
For the Au Jus
- 4 cups of beef broth
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crusty French rolls or baguettes
- Provolone or Swiss cheese slices (optional)
1. Prepare the Roast Beef
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- In a small bowl, mix the minced garlic, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, pepper, and olive oil to create a flavorful paste.
- Rub the paste evenly over the beef roast, covering all sides.
- Place the seasoned roast on a roasting pan and cook in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes per pound, or until your desired level of doneness is reached.
- Once cooked, remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes before slicing. Make sure to slice the beef thinly for the sandwiches.
2. Prepare the Au Jus
- In a saucepan, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat.
- Add the thinly sliced onions and minced garlic. Sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Pour in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the liquid to reduce slightly.
- Strain the au jus to remove the onions and garlic, leaving you with a smooth dipping sauce. Keep the au jus warm.
3. Assembling the Sandwiches
- Slice the crusty French rolls or baguettes horizontally. If desired, you can lightly toast the bread.
- Lay a few slices of the cooked roast beef on one side of the bread.
- If you prefer a cheesy twist, place a slice of Provolone or Swiss cheese on top of the beef.
- Close the sandwich and cut it into individual servings.
- Serve the sandwiches with warm au jus on the side for dipping.
4. Enjoy Your Homemade French Dip Au Jus!
With this straightforward guide, you’re now equipped to create the classic French Dip Au Jus in the comfort of your kitchen. The tender roast beef, the crusty bread, and the savory au jus come together to create a sandwich that’s not only a delight to eat but also a culinary experience that pays homage to the timeless flavors of this iconic dish. Whether it’s for a cozy family dinner or a gathering with friends, your homemade French Dip Au Jus is sure to be a hit.
Tips and Variations
- Meat Choice: While the traditional choices for the meat are top sirloin, prime rib, or chuck roast, you can also experiment with other cuts like beef tenderloin for a more luxurious twist.
- Enhance the Au Jus: To elevate the flavor of the au jus, consider adding a splash of red wine during the simmering process. This adds depth and complexity to the dipping sauce.
- Onion Options: If you enjoy the texture and taste of sautéed onions in your sandwich, you can reserve some of the sautéed onions from the au jus and add them to your sandwiches for an extra layer of flavor.
- Cheese Choices: While Provolone and Swiss are the typical cheese options for French Dip sandwiches, you can experiment with other types of cheese like cheddar, Gruyère, or even a spicy pepper jack for a unique twist.
- Bread Variety: While crusty French rolls or baguettes are the traditional choices, you can opt for other types of bread like ciabatta or sourdough for a different texture and taste.
- Au Jus Consistency: If you find that your au jus is too thin, you can thicken it slightly by creating a slurry of cornstarch and water, then adding it to the simmering au jus while stirring continuously until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Serving Sides: French Dip Au Jus sandwiches pair well with a variety of sides, such as a crisp salad, seasoned fries, or a warm cup of soup.
1. Can I Make French Dip Au Jus Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! You can prepare several components of the French Dip Au Jus ahead of time to make assembling the sandwiches a breeze. The roast beef can be cooked, sliced, and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The au jus can also be prepared in advance and reheated when needed. Just make sure to keep the au jus covered to prevent evaporation.
2. What Sides Can I Serve with French Dip Au Jus?
French Dip Au Jus sandwiches pair wonderfully with a variety of sides. Here are a few options to consider:
- Fries: Crispy seasoned fries are a classic choice and complement the sandwich’s flavors well.
- Salad: A fresh, leafy green salad with light vinaigrette can provide a refreshing contrast to the rich sandwich.
- Coleslaw: Creamy coleslaw adds a pleasant texture and a touch of sweetness that balances the savory notes of the sandwich.
- Potato Salad: A side of hearty potato salad can provide a satisfying and filling accompaniment.
- Soup: A warm cup of soup, such as tomato soup or a hearty vegetable soup, can make for a comforting meal combination.
3. Can I Make a Vegetarian Version of French Dip Au Jus?
Yes, you can certainly create a vegetarian version of the French Dip Au Jus. Instead of using beef, you can opt for thinly sliced and seasoned roasted vegetables. Portobello mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers are great options. For the au jus, use vegetable broth instead of beef broth to maintain the savory flavor without the meat base. The rest of the preparation process remains quite similar, allowing you to enjoy the same comforting sandwich with a vegetarian twist.
There’s something undeniably satisfying about biting into a tender, flavorful sandwich dipped in savory au jus. With this guide, you’ve unlocked the secrets of making the classic French Dip Au Jus at home. From choosing the right meat to crafting the perfect dipping sauce, you now have the tools to impress your family and friends with a culinary masterpiece that celebrates the marriage of taste and texture. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a journey to create a sandwich experience that’s truly exceptional. Your taste buds will thank you!