French Dip Sandwich

Chef's notes:

The French dip sandwich was not created in France. Obviously, they are not going to name a sandwich in such a manner. Putting French in the name is an American thing: French fries, French dressing, French toast. However this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t eat them, as they are quite tasty—provided that you follow my advice, keep it simple, and focus on the three key ingredients: roast beef, baguette, and juice.

The bread must be a baguette, which should be either fresh, or no more than a day old. The meat must be a beef roast—prime rib would be great. And the juice must be made from beef drippings, beef stock, and a splash of red wine. The easiest way to make sure you have great meat and juice is to make it yourself.


  • 1 # roast beef sliced thinly
  • 1 baguette sliced in half
  • Butter

French Dip Sandwich Recipe from LA, Or if you prefer Los Angeles, sandwich au rôti de bœuf trempées dans du jus

  1. Roast some beef, preferably prime rib roast. The beef for this article was prime rib that I had roasted just a few days before. To start from the very beginning read the recipe for Roast Prime Rib. Otherwise, for those of you who have already roasted your beef and have leftover meat, continue to the next step.
  2. Slice the cold beef thinly. It is perhaps most important that the meat is sliced relatively thin, especially if the roast is from one of the tougher parts of the cow. The prime rib meat was really tender, so I didn’t slice it that thin, around 1/8 of an inch.
  3. Heat up the leftover juice (au jus) on the stove. The juice should have a nice layer of fat on the surface, but get rid of that before putting it into the pot. Fat isn’t necessarily the greatest thing to dip a sandwich into. Taste the dip, and add salt, pepper, or even beef stock if needed.
  4. Butter the baguette halves and broil. Slice the baguettes in half and heat up the broiler. Spread some butter on the surface of the bread, and arrange them under the broiler. Keep a close eye on them as they toast. Remove them once they get a nice caramely brown.
  5. Dip the sliced beef in the juice. This last step will go quickly, so have your baguette open and ready to receive on the plate next to the juice. Drop the slices of meat into the simmering pot of juice to reheat them. About a minute should do it.
  6. Eat the sandwich over the plate. Then just toss the juicy beef slices onto the bread. Don’t worry about draining them. Then grab the sandwich in one hand, dip it in the juice, and enjoy one of the best things in the world: meat on bread, dipped in meat juice. Yum.

Tips & Tricks

  • When you roast the beef, don’t forget to make some “jus.” It is always best to make it with drippings, although beef broth will do in a pinch.
  • If you’re having trouble slicing the meat, cut it into smaller pieces before you slice it. Or freeze it a little; that’s an old trick.
  • If the baguette has an even texture and the air pockets all seem to be symmetrical and even, that is not baguette. Baguette have a complex crumb with uneven pockets. That other stuff is factory-made garbage.
  • Some people like to put mustard on their French dips, or even horseradish sauce.
  • Others like to melt cheese onto theirs. That sounds dangerously similar to a Philly melt or something. I say keep it simple. Not that I don’t like cheese; I love it.
  • You don’t have to share if you don’t want to.

Au Jus Recipe

  • 2 cups pan drippings
  • ¼ cup beef stock
  • 2 Tbsp red wine

Combine, reduce slightly, and add salt, pepper, or more stock to balance the flavor.