French Dip Sandwiches

As I have mentioned many times before, my CrockPot and I have a love/hate relationship. I LOVE the idea of it; plop some food in there in the morning, come home to a cooked meal. Sounds awesome after a long day! Where is breaks down for me is that I haven’t had a lot of luck with anything coming out of the slow cooker that we enjoyed. The flavors are either off or the meat is completely dry and/or burnt or perhaps it’s a combination of all three which is even more fun. After every one of these meals, Ryan and I look at each other and grumble something about never using the CrockPot again. Ever. Then, a few months will go by, and I’ll convince myself to give it another try. People seem to love their slow cookers, and I want to love mine.

My mom used to make an Italian Beef sandwich in the CrockPot, and I always liked those, so when I came across the recipe for a French Dip sandwich that seemed to have some of the same flavors, I decided that it would be the recipe that would make me love my CrockPot. Guess what. I’m happy to report that this recipe got rave reviews! It was both easy to make and delicious. Not dry, not burnt, and no weird flavors. Success!!

I only made two changes to the recipe: I added about 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (of course!) and would probably even double that for next time, and I added the bell pepper in to the slow cooker for the last 20-30 minutes, just enough time to cook them a little without taking away all their crunch. There was enough for at least two meals so my original plan was to freeze half for another night, but we both loved it so much that we ended up eating the leftovers for lunch over a couple days; it was gone very quickly!

French Dip Sandwiches

1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 3/4 cups low-sodium beef broth
3 lbs beef roast, trimmed of fat
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 package Italian dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
hoagie buns and provolone cheese for serving

1. Spray 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, place onion; add broth. Brush all surfaces of beef roast with vinegar. Place on onions. Sprinkle with dressing mix, salt and pepper.
2. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.
3. Remove beef from cooker; place on cutting board. Cut beef across grain into thin slices. Return slices to cooker; mix well. Add pepper slices, and cook for another 20-30 minutes.
4. Spoon beef onto bottoms halves of buns. Top each with cheese and top half of bun. Serve sandwiches with juices from slow cooker.

Source: Pillsbury


January 27, 2010. recipes.


  1. Louanne replied:

    I have a love/hate relationship with my slow-cooker, too. I mainly use it to keep things warm at parties, like gumbo or chili. When I cook a roast in it, the meat does taste off, or as my husband says, it has “that weird Crockpot taste.” I think I’ll give your recipe a whirl this weekend.

  2. Elina replied:

    I’ve definitely gotten overdried meat from the slow cookers before but I think there is hope for it :)

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