It’s allergy season for me, so I’ve been hiding in the house a little more than usual this week. But that’s ok, because I had a chance to do some indoor jobs — no, not the teaching units, sadly, but I have done some laundry, cleaning, cooking, and general organizing that really needed to be done. Let’s just say my domestic side has gotten a little rusty this summer and it’s about time I used it again.
This morning I hauled out the crock pot. I love my little old crock pot, which was handed down to me by my mom. We actually got a shiny new silver one for our wedding, which has fancy settings and a snap-on lid, and I love that one too, but more often than not I get out the trusty old guy instead.
Today, I cooked up something especially fabulous: My mom’s French dip sandwiches. All the boys are preparing for harvest this week, and with all the shoveling grain and cleaning out combines and squeezing in some mowing, they were all pretty grateful when I offered French dip sandwiches and fresh-cut strawberries for dinner. This recipe is perfect for hungry workers, as the crock pot can just sit on low to keep the meat warm until they come in. And you just never know quite when dinner time is around here.
This French dip recipe is so good, in fact, that I just need to share it with you all. I’m sure you will all be thanking my mom afterward. It turns a big clunky roast into tender, flavorful slices of roast beef and creates perfect au jus for dipping.
For this recipe, select any two or three-pound beef roast. I’ve used several different types of roast, including chuck, arm, sirloin tip, etc., and really this recipe works well with any of them, even the toughest of cuts. Be sure it is thawed out before you put it in the crock pot. I also usually cut it into two or three pieces beforehand to ensure more even cooking and to make the slicing easier later.
To begin, dump into the crock pot a can of beef broth, some soy sauce, and cup of water (to make the au jus), and then the seasonings: bay leaf, ground thyme, garlic powder, and peppercorns. Add the roast. Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 7-8 hours.
See, wasn’t that incredibly easy??
I would show you what the roast looks like cooking in the crock pot, but I have a thing against picking up my crock pot lid while it’s cooking because I don’t want any moisture to escape! Call me superstitious or something. It’s all in there though, I promise.
After 7-8 hours, lift the roast pieces out of the crock pot and slice. Strain the juice in the crock pot into a bowl or container to remove the bay leaf, peppercorns, and extra pieces of fat floating around, and then pour the strained juice back into the crock pot. Place the sliced meat back in the au jus to keep everything warm and tender until ready to eat. This last step could be skipped, but I think it makes the meat especially juicy and flavorful to put it back in the au jus after shredding it.
When you are ready to eat, scoop out some meat with a slotted spoon onto your bun or bread slices…
Spoon a little au jus into a bowl…
Now if that wasn’t the easiest tasty recipe I’ve ever followed, I’m not sure what is, but let me tell you this is one good sandwich. Thanks Mom!
In case you are wondering what that sign peeking out from behind my crock pot says, here it is:
That perfectly sums me up. My poor husband.
And before you get too impressed with my domestic abilities after I just showed you how to make the best French dip sandwich ever, here is what happened to the cookies I made today:
Oh, well, can’t win them all. I did tell you my domestic side is a bit rusty these days. Good thing my dad likes crunchy cookies.
Slow-Cooker French Dip
1 can beef broth
1/2 C. soy sauce
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 T whole peppercorns
1 C. water
1 3-lb. roast
Put beef broth, soy sauce, bay leaf, thyme, garlic powder, peppercorns, and water into crockpot, and stir. Add roast. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. Slice meat. Strain juice. Place both back into crock pot until ready to serve. Place meat on rolls. Use juice for dipping.