05 January 2012

French Dip Sandwiches

Perfeclty rare meat + buttered crusty bread dunked in jus = comfort and joy.
My brother introduced me to the french dip au jus (with juice) sandwich in LA around 10 years ago. I thought it was ridiculous he'd pay nearly $20 for a meat sandwich. But oh my, was it so worth it! Every GOOD french dip I've had has been that pricey, presumably because of the pile of thin slices of quality roasted beef, so that became my goal for making my own. While I saw different seasoning recipes all over the webs, it was on an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives that I saw someone use Montreal steak seasoning before roasting. That's one of the few spice blends I use regularly because it's well balanced. That plus some extra thyme, garlic, and salt made for an exceptionally crusted and flavored meat that I roasted rare - we could eat the meat all by itself...and we did!

But it is a sandwich after all, so it was better on a fresh, buttered, toasted crisp french roll. Want to kick up the flavor and some extra texture? Add a slice of provolone, too, and broil until melted. Soak each bite in that jus and try not to dribble all over yourself while eating it!

Slow Roasted Beef
adapted from Teri's Kitchen

2.5 to 3 lb sirloin roast, brought to room temperature
Montreal steak seasoning
dried thyme
garlic powder
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp butter
Special equipment: probe thermometer, dutch oven

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat a dutch oven (large enough to fit roast) over medium high heat.

Season all sides of roast with an even layer of steak seasoning, thyme, and an extra dusting of garlic powder and salt. Pat down so the herbs stick.

Make sure the oil is really hot and add the roast. Sear - about 2 minutes each side - until browned. Insert a probe thermometer about halfway into roast. Put roast, uncovered, into oven and cook until it reaches 130 degrees for rare (around 2 hours).

Take off the heat and allow to rest. When ready to eat, slice into thin slices -- thinner than these in this pic. Mmm look how perfectly rare and juicy!
Au Jus
pan drippings from the roast beef
1/2 carton of reduced sodium beef broth
1 to 1-1/2 C water
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1-2 Tbsp butter

Put the dutch oven with all the beef drippings on the stove over medium heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer about 15 minutes, or until it reaches the flavor you like. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove the chunky parts. Serve hot with the sandwiches.

And now I can knock off the first item on my 2012 Hit List, hooray!

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