Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

I don't use my slow cooker enough.

There, I said it. I, simply and plainly put, don't use it enough. The slow cooker is near the top of my list of favorite kitchen appliances that are never used. Along with the blender. And the blow torch. And the electric wok. I should use it more, it makes dinner easy-peasy. It's been pretty hectic around the house lately, to the point where I'm usually tired by early evening. A long, complex meal has not sounded like the ticket. But with the slow cooker, you can expend all your energy in the morning completing the prep, and just be ready to go at dinner. Doesn't that sound like winning for everyone?

I prepared this last week when my MIL was staying with us while her carpet was redone. The hubby's uncle helped the hubby move his mother's furniture and pull up the old carpet, so we invited him to feast on French Dip's as well. This recipe worked perfectly for a hectic day! I got an absolutely stunning roast at the Farmer's Market (organic, grass-fed, not fed hormones, etc.) that I threw in the crockpot after prepping for 5 minutes. The roast is cooked in a beef broth mixture that makes the house smell delicious all day.

This was one of those dishes that the hubby hovered around whenever he could. Yes, he was at his mom's working most of the day but anytime he stopped back by the house, he was pressing his nose to the lid. The roast had been cooking for 7.5 hours when he came home for good. It was then that he decided he must open the lid and check the tenderness. I warned him against (you know, letting all the heat out!) but I had a feeling it was probably done. Sure enough, fork tender. I ended up pouring about 3/4 of the liquid into a stockpot on the stove, and leaving the remaining liquid in with the meat. The hubby couldn't make his sandwich fast enough. I'd bought plenty of sandwich hoagies, but it turned out one sandwich was filling enough for everyone

There's something magical about dipping those hot, beefy sandwiches covered in melted Swiss cheese into those little cups of broth-y goodness. I must say, I was pretty darn proud of my au jus. The sandwiches were a big hit in this house, and a fairly economical one at that. The magical slow cooker transforms cheap roasts into deliciously tender sandwich fare. If you have a roast beef lover in your house, make this one today!

One more tip- I bought a roast on the bone. After the roast was cooked, I fished out the bone and froze it. On Saturday, when I made a gigantic batch of marinara out of 15 lbs of tomatoes, I threw the bone in the sauce while it simmered all day. Magical! Get bones, save bones. That's my advice for the day :)

My little brother will be here on Thursday! Yes, I'm positive he'll be here Thursday. I've written it down, the hubby's written it down, the brother has called to remind me... It's safe to say I'll be a wee more prepared than last time! We don't have too much planned for this visit, although we will be attending a Red's game in Cincinnati which I'm excited for. He's looking forward to some relax and de-stress time, plus some home-cooking! I've only received one request so far, and it's for Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Done, and done! I'm sure I'll receive some more requests along the way, we'll just have to see. Other than pizza, the only other item I have planned is making Blueberry Danish. 

In the meantime, I'm going to be busy. Very, very busy. Still training, but now throw in cleaning the house, cooking, baking, gardening, bathing the dogs, and trying to squeeze in photo shoots. Like I said before, it's hectic around here right now.

Hey, it keeps me young! Have a great day everyone! :)

Ingredients (makes 5-6 large sandwiches):

1 onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 lbs chuck roast
sandwich rolls and sliced Swiss cheese (for serving)


1. Combine onion through black pepper in slow cooker. Stir to incorporate. Place roast in slow cooker. Spoon broth mixture over meat. Place lid on slow cooker, and cook on low for 8 hours.
2. Remove beef from slow cooker. Pour 3/4 of liquid from slow cooker into stockpot, retaining the remaining liquid in the slow cooker. Place stockpot on stove over low heat. 
3. Place beef back in slow cooker with remaining liquid. Using two forks, shred the beef and coat it with remaining broth. 
4. Sandwich beef between rolls, top with cheese, and serve with reserved au jus.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy
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1 comment:

  1. My goodness these things look amazingly delicious! I love french dip sandwiches. Haven't had any in quite some time :-)