French Dip Recipe

French Dip Recipe

The Spruce Eats / Laura Manzano

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serving: 1 sandwich
Yield: 8 sandwiches
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
9871 Calories
497g Fat
732g Carbs
615g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 9871
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 497g 638%
Saturated Fat 223g 1,113%
Cholesterol 1658mg 553%
Sodium 22424mg 975%
Total Carbohydrate 732g 266%
Dietary Fiber 35g 124%
Total Sugars 84g
Protein 615g
Vitamin C 20mg 100%
Calcium 1121mg 86%
Iron 100mg 556%
Potassium 9061mg 193%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The French dip sandwich takes the concept of a condiment above and beyond, as its signature sidecar is a small bowl of au jus for dipping. This means every bite of this beefy sandwich is moist and super flavorful. Typically made with beef chuck (a tough cut from the hardworking shoulder muscle) that has been braised for hours, it seemed unfair to us that you can’t slap one together quickly after work or school when the craving strikes. So we’ve come up with a super speedy version that only takes 30 minutes using a beautifully fatty steak, the boneless ribeye.

For a steak sandwich to be tender and juicy, the trick is in a well-marbled piece of meat. Here, a boneless ribeye is seared to medium-rare, set aside to rest, then sliced and quickly bathed in a cheater’s “au jus” made from an oft-overlooked ingredient: canned beef consummé. Most boxed beef broths are often underwhelming in flavor. Since this product is technically a concentrate, it’s double packed with flavor, and with the help of a few extra additions, simulates the effort of a roast that’s been braising all day.

A French dip would be great served with some sturdy salt and pepper potato chips or even steak fries (bonus points for malt vinegar), but the sandwich itself is simple. To really let the beef sing, this sandwich requires nothing more than sauteed onions and a hefty dunk in that au jus. Add swiss cheese or horseradish if you’d like, but know that the French Dip is an iconic sandwich for purists of the world: a storied tribute to beef and bread—and now, in no time at all.

Ingredients

For the Steak:

  • 4 (1 pound) boneless ribeye steaks, about 1-inch thick

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 8 (6-inch) baguette-style rolls or French bread, lightly toasted

For the Onions:

  • 3 (6-8 ounce) thinly sliced onions 

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 

For the Au Jus:

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter

  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour 

  • 1/4 cup red wine

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 

  • 3 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed beef consommé 

  • 1/2 cup water 

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Season ribeyes all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high. Add two steaks and sear until nicely browned and a crust has formed, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining two steaks, adding an additional tablespoon of oil to the pan if necessary. Tent plate with foil to keep warm, and set steaks aside.

  4. To residual beef fat, add sliced onions and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

  5. Add sugar and thyme and cook until onions are slightly darker and thyme is fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. 

  6. In the same large skillet, add butter and flour, whisking until butter has melted and flour has cooked slightly, about 2 minutes.

  7. Add wine, Worcestershire sauce, and dijon mustard, and whisk until combined. While steadily whisking, gradually add beef consommé and water. Bring mixture to a boil and immediately reduce heat to medium. Simmer, whisking frequently, until mixture has thickened slightly and become rich and glossy, 5 minutes. 

  8. Thinly slice rested steaks against the grain and add to the large skillet. Gently toss to coat in sauce, then divide equally among hoagie rolls. Top each sandwich with onions and spoon each sandwich with a few tablespoons of au jus.

  9. Divide the remaining au jus between small bowls and serve each sandwich with a side of au jus for dipping. Enjoy! 

Tips

  • Boxed beef broth and canned condensed beef consummé are very different in flavor and not equivalent substitutes. If you can’t find beef consummé, be sure to season your beef broth well to ensure it packs a proper punch.
  • Even if you prefer your steaks medium well or well done, it’s best to cook these to medium-rare, as a dip in the au jus will cook them slightly more. 
  • The thinner you slice your steaks, the easier and more tender they will be to eat. So prepare a sharp knife and be sure to slice against the grain. 

Recipe Variations

  • If you’re looking for a slightly less expensive alternative (although leaner), sirloin steaks of comparable thickness make a fine substitute if sliced thin. 
  • For a vinegary kick to cut through the fatty richness, feel free to add pickled peppers to this sandwich when serving. 
  • Crusty French bread holds up best to a rich au jus, but ciabatta or a sourdough roll will work well too. Just steer clear of soft sandwich bread, which will disintegrate upon the first dip.

How to Store

  • Sliced steaks, cooked onions, and au jus can all be stored in separate containers up to one day in advance. Reheat sliced steaks in a large skillet of au jus over medium, and give onions a quick saute over medium-high before assembling sandwiches and serving.
  • We don’t recommend freezing any component of this recipe.