Homemade French Dip – almost as good as Arby’s!

14 Feb

Don’t hate me, but I love the french dip sandwiches at Arby’s! I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the melted cheese, the thinly sliced roast beef, or the au jus.

Searing the meat

It would be awesome to replicate the french dip sandwich from Arby’s, but that wasn’t my goal when I made this sandwich. My goal was just to make a delicious, simple, and easy meal and I feel like I reached that goal with this recipe! The hardest part was figuring out how to sear this 2lb beef roast in a large frying pan.

Preparing the meat to soak for a few hours

Now if you’re not sure how to sear meat, then I would advice watching some videos and researching. I learn by watching, so finding reliable videos was helpful for me. Then I would practice using some smaller pieces of meat, just so that you can understand what to look for. Searing is basically cooking just the outside of the meat very quickly to seal in the flavor. You’re not cooking the meat all the way through. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper (kosher salt works best because table salt will just dissolve). Use some oil to coat just the bottom of the pan  and turn the heat up to medium/high or high. Once the oil starts to “shimmer” place the widest part of the meat on the pan. Cook for a few minutes and then use tongs to flip the meat over. Be very very careful because oil will splatter out of the pan. A video I would recommend would be :

Video – How to Sear Meat

A simple google search will yield tons of videos on how to do this! I apologize for not taking some pictures of searing this meat to add, but searing happens to quickly that there is no time unless someone else is doing it. Anyways, moving on!

Adding the rest of seasonings

The rest of this recipe is easy breezy. Just let the meat marinate in the crock-pot for most of the day. The longer you cook the meat then the more tender it will be. It should just peel away with your fork.

mmm mmm good!

The only thing I did to the au jus before serving was I drained all of the onion mix pieces. I also put the rolls in the toaster oven (or under the broiler in the oven) with a slice of provolone cheese until the cheese was melted.

This recipe came from a blog called Our Best Bites, and she did a fabulous job providing photos and a walkthrough! The recipe calls for a 2.5-3lb beef roast, but for just myself and hubby a 1.5-2lb beef roast was more than enough! I think I would also add more cheese. Thank you, Our Best Bites for a great recipe!

French Dip Sandwiches by Our Best Bites


1 2.5-3 lb. beef roast (you can use a frozen roast if you want)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 1-ounce packages dry onion soup mix
2 c. water
2 cans beef broth
6-8 large buns (or more…6 would be VERY generous servings!)
Swiss, provolone, or mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and rub roast with salt and pepper.

When very hot, carefully place roast in pan and sear on all sides. You’re not cooking the meat, you’re just browning it quickly on all sides to add flavor and seal in the juices.

Place in crockpot and sprinkle with onion soup mixes. Pour water and beef broth over roast.

Cook 8-10 hours on low or cook 4-5 hours on high and another 3-4 hours on low. It’s hard to screw this part up; basically, the longer it cooks, the more tender it will be. But you know it’s done when you pop a fork in it and the meat just falls apart. When meat is ready, shred with a fork.

Place meat in crusty rolls. Top with cheese and broil open-faced in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes, until bread is golden and cheese is melty.

Ladle juices into small cups for dipping and enjoy!

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2 Responses to “Homemade French Dip – almost as good as Arby’s!”

  1. Mellifluous March 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Excellent! We loved it!

    • aveena March 15, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

      Oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Would you make any changes to it? More cheese? A sauce? I made it again a few weeks back and thought it was lacking just one thing, but it’s still delicious the way it is :-)

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