- (2-3 lbs.) Round Roast
- (2 Tbsp.) Oil
- (1 tsp.) Garlic Powder
- (1) Yellow Onion, sliced
- (1/2 cup) Red Wine
- (1 1/2 cup) Beef Broth
- (1 1/2 tsp.) Fish Sauce
- (2 tsp.) Worcestershire Sauce
- (2) Dried Bay Leaves
- For the Sandwiches:
- (8) French Rolls
- (3 Tbsp.) Butter, melted
- (1/4 tsp.) Garlic Powder
- Salt & Ground Pepper to taste
- (8 slices) Provolone, Mozzarella, or Swiss Cheese
- (2-3 Tbsp.) Giardiniera, optional
As a kid, I thought we were eating at a "fancy restaurant" when I saw French Dip on the menu. ;-) Despite what my young self thought, this is a tasty, easy meal to make for the family. You can "set it and forget it" in an electric pressure cooker or a slow cooker.
So what exactly is French dip? According to Wikipedia, "A French dip sandwich, also known as a beef dip, is a hot sandwich consisting of thinly sliced roast beef (or, sometimes, other meats) on a "French roll" or baguette. It is usually served plain but a variation is to top with Swiss cheese, onions, and a dipping container of beef broth produced from the cooking process (termed au jus, "with juice"). Beef stock, a light beef gravy, or beef consommé is sometimes substituted. The sandwich is an American invention, with the name seeming to refer to the style of bread, rather than any French origin...the sandwich is most commonly served with a cup of jus or broth on the side of the plate, into which the sandwich is dipped as it is eaten..."
This is my version of french dip packed with flavor. This recipe is easy to prepare ahead then put it into the electric pressure cooker or slow cooker and leave it to cook. I made this in a 6-qt Instant Pot. Please pardon my pot. She is well-used and has traveled with us on vacation...and accidentally fell out of the car not once, but twice. Thankfully, she still works but bears some battle scars. ;-)
Step 1: Salt and pepper the roast on all sides.
Step 2: Press the saute button on the electric pressure cooker then press the adjust button until the light is under more. This will turn the sautee function to high. If using the slow cooker, heat up a cast iron or frying pan for searing the roast.
Step 3: While the pot, or pan, is heating up, peel and slice the onion, then set aside.
Step 4: When the pot, or pan, is hot, add 2 Tbsp. of your favorite oil. I like to use avocado oil because of the high smoke point. Sear the roast for 40 seconds - 1 minute on each side (and each end).
REALITY CHECK: If you don't have time to sear the meat, you can just drop it in your pressure cooker or slow cooker and get cooking. It will still be tasty. I know this from experience. ;-) However, searing the meat seals in the juices and adds additional flavor to the dish.
Step 5: Remove the roast from the pot/pan and set aside. Add the sliced onions to the pot/pan and saute for 2- 3 minutes until translucent.
Step 6: Add the red wine to the pot/pan and allow it to cook for another three minutes. While cooking, use a wooden spoon to scrape all the cooked bits off the bottom of the pot/pan. This is called deglazing. Those cooked bits will add some great flavor and getting them off the bottom of the pot will prevent a "burn" notice on the electric pressure cooker when the roast is cooked. If using a slow cooker, pour everything from the pan into the slow cooker crock.
Step 7: Next add 1 1/2 cups beef broth, 1 1/2 tsp. fish sauce, 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce and 2 dried bay leaves to your pot or crock and give it all a stir. Return the roast to your pot/crock.
Step 8: Press the cancel button on the electric pressure cooker. Lock and seal the pressure cooker lid. Press Pressure Cook or Manual (depending on your pot). Use the "+" button until it reads 100 for the cooking time (yes, that seems like a long time, but the roast will be super moist and tender). Then under the pressure level button, adjust the pressure level to High or press the Pressure button until the High Pressure light is on (depending on your pot). It will anywhere from 7-10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure. This is part of the cooking time. Once at pressure, the pot will read 100 and then begin counting backward. When the cooking period is over, the pot beeps three times and then displays L0:00. It is now done cooking and in the "keep warm" mode. The pot will begin counting UP to show how long it has been keeping warm. Leave the pot to naturally release pressure in this mode for 25 minutes. This is called natural pressure release. When the pot reads L0:25 turn the pressure valve to release any remaining pressure and open the pot.
If using a slow cooker, place the lid on the cooker and set it to high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
PRO TIP: The roast can be prepared through step 7 and then delay start can be used on the pressure cooker to start the cooking process a couple of hours later if desired. To use the delay start, press Manual on the pressure cooker and adjust the time using the "+" button until it reads 100. Next press the timer button and use the "-" and "+" buttons to set how many hours you wish to wait before having the pressure cooker start cooking. After about 10 seconds the manual and timer lights will be on showing the pot is in the delayed start for the manual cook.
Step 9: Remove the roast from the pot and place it in a bowl. Shred using two forks and set aside.
Step 10: Pour the remaining jus from the pot through a fine strainer into a bowl to collect it and use for dipping.
Step 11: Open french rolls and place them open-face on a shallow baking pan. Brush the insides of each roll with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder. Top the rolls with the desired amount of shredded meat and a slice of your favorite cheese.
Step 12: Put the pan of sandwiches under the broiler on high for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the ends of the bread are toasted.
Step 13: Serve the sandwiches with a side salad, french fries, giardiniera, and individual bowls of the au jus to dip the sandwich in while eating.
Store any uneaten meat and jus in separate containers to make additional sandwiches out of the leftovers. Leftover meat also makes great beef tacos or delicious Chilaquiles for breakfast with salsa and farm fresh eggs.
Recipe by Victoria Cook:
Victoria is a home cook turned host and cook for 100+ episodes of a private cooking show for wellness practitioners and their patients. As a lover of ethnic cuisines, she uses a variety of spices and fresh ingredients to make flavorful healthy meals for her husband and son. She loves to challenge herself with new recipes and if she can make them in an electric pressure cooker, she’s even happier.