Two weeks ago, I made French Dip sandwiches. I didn’t, however, snap any pictures so you’ll just have to use your imagination.
I’ve actually already blogged about French Dips and Burger Dips. You can read about those here. What I wanted to do was talk about the super Easy Crock Pot Roast Beef that I used to make the French Dip Sandwiches.
A lady named Mary (I’m sure she has a last name but I no longer recall what it is or if I ever even knew it!) posted about this roast on an email loop about 11 years ago.
So here’s Tess’s adapted and used frequently over the years “recipe”
- 1 roast--- 3 to 4 lbs is what I prefer so that I might have left overs. I’ve done this with chuck roasts, pot roasts, rump roasts. Any roast that you would use to make a “pot roast”. Think cheaper cuts of meat that need to cook long and slow.
- about 1/4 –1/2 cups Soy Sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos as a soy sauce alternative. It has less sodium and is gluten free) I put in more than 1/4 cup usually less than a 1/2. This helps “beef up” the beef flavor of the au jus
- water to make at least 2 cups (I put the Bragg’s in a 2 cup glass measuring cup and then I fill i the rest of the way with water)
- Garlic (fresh minced, or powder as much or as little as you like)
Put roast into slow cooker, pour over water/soy sauce and add garlic. Cover, cook on low all day (about 7-8 hours depending on your slow cooker). If you need more liquid you can add another cup of water.
When the roast is done, I slice/shred it and put it back in the crock pot while I finish the rest of the meal. This helps keep the meat nice and moist.
I use the above roast recipe as a base and I can turn it into the following:
- French Dip Sandwiches--- serve sliced meat on toasted hoagie/sub rolls or any other sandwich roll you like with the au jus for dipping. Add a salad and maybe french fries and you have a crowd pleasing meal. (This is what my daughter wanted for her birthday. Brownie Sundaes for dessert.. Yum!)
- Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches--- the old fashioned kind that you can in an old dinner or cafeteria. You’ll need to turn the au jus into gravy. (see below) Pile roast beef on to slice of bread (I like using store bought white bread because of the memories). Top with another piece of bread, if you want, or don’t (I don’t). cut in half diagonally. (It must be diagonally LOL) spread the two halves apart a bit so that you have room to add mashed potatoes. Pour gravy over “sandwich” and potatoes. Serve with salad and steamed veggies. Comfort food.
- BBQ Beef sandwiches—sometimes I have enough meat left over from the French Dip to do this and sometimes I just plan on making these. If I am planning to make BBQ I use less soy sauce/water as I don’t need it for au jus or gravy. I just need to for moisture and flavor. I usually do this from left overs. I store the left over sliced/shredded meat in the au jus. When preparing the BBQ Beef, I remove the meat from the au jus and place in a sauce pan. Add my family’s favorite BBQ sauce and heat through. Serve on hamburger buns. Excellent with my baked potato salad.
- Last but not least, I sometimes serve this just as a “nice roast beef dinner” Sometimes I through carrots and potatoes into the crock pot for a traditional pot roast and sometimes I’ll serve it as sliced roast beef with mashed potatoes.
So there you have it. One roast beef “recipe” many meal options! Oh the gravy? You want to know about the gravy?
Making Gravy from the Au Jus:
I use corn starch to thicken. I put about 2 cups of au jus into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. In a small glass measuring cup (or jar or bowl) I mix about 1/4 cup of cornstarch with just enough water to make a smooth pourable paste like mix. When au jus is boiling, I put cornstarch/water mix into the pan while whisking. It should thicken fairly quickly. Reduce heat and simmer a couple of minutes. You may want to adjust seasonings such as adding salt or pepper. If you want it to be a darker brown add some Kitchen Bouquet.
So what will you make with the roast?