French Dip Sandwiches

French Dip Sandwiches are easy to make. Add your roast to the slow-cooker, and it’s hands off work until you’re ready to eat. The braising liquid can be used for dipping.

French Dip SandwichesI’m still flying high from my overnight in St. Paul and seeing The Replacements:

The Replacements - Midway StadiumThat was the best photo my crappy little Nikon P&S could take, but I don’t care. I was there. I got to go to Midway and see one of my all-time favorite bands play. It seriously was the most fun I’ve had at a concert since my sister and I drove up to Cleveland to see Hepcat.

I would like to say that I actually saw the concert, but being only 5’2″ the most I got were a couple glimpses of Tommy Stinson, and if I stood on tiptoe, I could see Paul Westerberg if he was at his mic. But it was okay. I could hear just fine, and the crowd was amazing.

I haven’t been to a show with that much excited energy ever before. I got to hear the three songs I’ve waited over 20 years to experience live (because I came late to the party–I’d just started high school when the Mats broke up, and I’d gotten into them in between “Pleased to Meet Me” and “Don’t Tell a Soul”)…”Valentine” (the first one at which I got teary-eyed), “Swingin’ Party,” and “Can’t Hardly Wait.” By the time they got to that one, the tears were just running down my face, but I didn’t care. I knew I wouldn’t be the only one crying at some point during the show.

Overall, the concert was everything I’d hoped for–It was even better than I’d built it up in my mind and imagined it would be. Got myself some new shirts to add to the wardrobe:

'Mats T-ShirtsI wore that blue one home. In hindsight, I should’ve gotten one of the event-specific t-shirts (but all they had were men’s smalls and women’s cut, which I do not care for because I prefer NOT to look like I’m wearing a sausage casing), but I figured only 2 would fit in my purse, so I stuck with the above-pictured. I had to get the grey one, because “Pleased to Meet Me” is my favorite Replacements album.

So, before the show, we went and grabbed a bite to eat in our hotel’s restaurant, which had this on the menu:

Hotel MenuI did not know I was a sandwich! I did not get a “Rachel,” though. I had myself a delicious French Dip Sandwich, with a plate full of fries. And three Whiskey Sours. I decided to make French Dip beef in the slow cooker and have myself a homemade-Mats-inspired-pub-grub dinner all over again (minus the Whiskey Sours):

French Dip SandwichesOkay, to be a fair recreation, there should be a ton of French fries on that plate. I was going to cop out and just toss some frozen ones in the oven, but I didn’t have any. So then I thought I’d roast some potato wedges…Until I discovered my Yukon Golds had all sprouted. So we had some applesauce on the side instead (not pictured).

Jay and the bambino both raved about the sandwiches, although the bambino opted to forgo the cheese in favor of some ketchup, and he also nixed the au jus. I won’t fix a separate meal for him to eat, but if topping a sandwich with ketchup means he’ll actually eat the sandwich, I’m fine with it.

I have to say, I’m already wishing I could relive the weekend. And I don’t feel that weird about it–My Facebook feed is full of new friends who were also at the show, and who feel the same way.

In the past, when I’m going to a concert, I spend the weeks before listening to whatever band I’m seeing, and once the concert’s over, I move on to something else. Not so with the Mats.

It’s like I’m 13 or 14 again and forcing my poor dad to listen to them non-stop in the car, or walling myself off in my bedroom to crank up “Achin’ To Be” so I could have a good cry and unload all my loneliness in my journal. I cannot hear enough of them! I thought I loved them before–I think I’m working on a borderline obsession now! But I’m okay with that.

Yield: 4-6

French Dip Sandwiches

French Dip Sandwiches
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 3-lb. beef chuck roast
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive or canola oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 C beef broth (low-sodium)
  • 1 C water
  • Sliced Mozzarella
  • 4-6 sub or hoagie buns


Season the roast on both sides with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat, and once shimmering, add the roast. Cook on both sides until nicely browned, but not cooked through (about 5-6 minutes per side).

Place the roast in a slow cooker, and add the beef broth and the water. Cook on low heat for 8 hours.

Preheat the broiler.

Remove the roast and shred. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a large bowl or measuring cup, and remove any fat that floats to the top.

Slice the buns in half, and place the bottoms on a baking sheet. Top with about a cup of the meat, and a slice of mozzarella. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted, bit not too browned. Top with the other half of the bun, and serve with a cup of the au jus.

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