The keys to this incredible French dip sandwich are the slowly oven simmered, rich beef broth made from roasted bones, thinly sliced steak & red onion jam.
I am a collector of bones. At any given time, a peek inside my freezer will find Ziploc bags full of chicken or beef bones that have been trimmed from roasts, steaks, or bone-in chicken breasts waiting to be roasted and then turned into the best stock for soups, stews, sauces or as the base for a great French Dip Sandwich.
I like this sandwich with thinly sliced rare grilled steak as well but sometimes I give that steak a short soak in the jus which gives it the flavour of slow roasted beef, as shown in the photo. Red Onion Jam is the only condiment necessary on this classic sandwich, especially when made on great French bread like the mini baguettes that were recently featured on this blog. Find those recipes at these links. Red Onion Jam & French Baguette.
I like to make stock in the oven because of the slow simmer that can be achieved. This makes for a much more clear stock instead f the cloudy stock you sometimes get from rapid boiling on the stove-top. It is also much less fussy than constantly attending to a boiling pot on the stove-top.
Like this French Dip Sandwich recipe?
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- 5-7 pounds beef bones
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 large chopped onion
- salt and pepper to season
- 3 large carrots cut in 1 inch sections
- 2 stalks celery
- a few peppercorns
- splash red wine
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- fresh thyme rosemary or sage sprigs
- 6 ounces of thinly sliced rare steak per sandwich
In a large covered enamel roaster add the bones, garlic, onion, carrots, celery and salt and pepper to season.
Roast the bones at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes to an hour until they are well browned and the carrots are tender.
Cover the bones with 3 to 4 liters of water.
At this point, depending on how you want to use the stock, you can add your favorite fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary or add tomatoes or parsnip to further flavor the stock. Return the roaster to the oven, covered for 2 to 3 hours. Strain the finished stock through a fine sieve. Chill and skim off all the fat. If you want very clear stock you can sieve it again with a coffee filter inside the sieve.
Freeze the stock in small airtight containers. Stock can also be frozen in ice cube trays and then frozen in Ziploc bags for later use. This is great for when you need a small amount of stock for sauces or stir-fry recipes.
To make the jus to dip your sandwich in, allow 1/2 cup of this stock per sandwich. Warm the stock by simmering in a small saucepan along with the peppercorns, red wine, nutmeg and herbs.
Simmer for 5 to ten minutes before serving beside the sandwich as a dip.
To construct the sandwich toast the baguette and spread with your favorite garlic butter. Allow about 6 ounces of thinly sliced rare roasted beef or grilled steak. Dip the beef into the simmering jus for just a minute to warm it then place on top of the bread along with some of the Red Onion Jam. Serve small ramekins of jus with the sandwich for dipping.
If you'd like to use store bought stock for this recipe, I'd highly suggest getting the best quality that you can and definitely get low sodium or no salt added stock. This way, you can simmer it slowly to reduce the volume by about half and intensify the flavour before adding garlic, onions, nutmeg, splash of wine, herbs, peppercorns and salt to season. Simmer that covered for 15 minutes before straining through a fine sieve as serving as the au jus dip for the sandwiches.
Regular stock will likely be far too salty when reduced, so the low salt or no salt varieties will always work better.
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