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French Dip Sandwich

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Calories: 661
4 french dip sandwiches on a white plate with gruyere cheese and au jus sauce

Get some good, crusty bread, thinly-sliced beef, Gruyère cheese, melt it all happily together and viola! You’ve got yourself a legit French dip, ready for a dunk in luscious au jus broth.

We’d Like To Introduce You To The Best French Dip Sandwich Recipe, Ever.

Our French dip recipe, that is. Yeah, it’s a mighty bold claim. But we’re passionate about this toasty, melty, beefy sandwich, and when we went to make our own version, we were not messing around. It had to be classic, loaded with steak, dripping with au jus, and just oozing with gorgeous cheese. In other words, it had to be absolutely messy, meaty perfection. And that’s what we’ve created! Cook one up, and taste for yourself.

au jus sauce in a pan for french dip sandwiches
skirt steak on a piece of parchment paper with salt and pepper

What Is a French Dip?

Beyond the obvious—a really delicious steak sandwich—the French dip has a rather interesting and disputed origin. Firstly, the French dip is not French at all, but was created in Los Angeles sometime in the very early 20th century. Other than that though, the origin is hotly contested! Who knew a sandwich could stir up such intense debate, but two L.A. restaurants—Phillipe’s and Cole’s—each claim to be the original home of the French dip and it’s not at all clear who is the true inventor of this delicious sandwich. If you want to read up on it, Thrillist has a pretty intense dive into the origin story. But if you’re like us, you don’t really care who invented it—you’re just like “hey, pass the au jus”.

What Is the Best Cut of Beef to Use for French Dip Sandwiches?

People use all sorts of different cuts for making French dips. Phillipe’s—one of the two originators of the sandwich—uses beef top round roast. Some recipes just call for “roast beef’. However, we’re big fans of steak, and we’re generally inclined to take things over the top whenever possible. So yeah. We’re calling for either skirt steak or flank steak here. What’s the difference? Well here’s a little primer:

  • Skirt steak: cut from the diaphragm muscles of a cow, skirt steak is lean (but not as lean as flank steak) and inclined to be a tiny bit tough. But it has an intensely beefy flavor that we really love.
  • Flank steak: cut from the abdominal area of a cow, flank steak is a lean, mean, flavor machine. We like it a little better than skirt steak, but they’re both good and sometimes skirt steak is cheaper so don’t sweat it—honestly either cut of beef works beautifully in this French dip recipe!
Buttered hoggie rolls with garlic powder on a rimmed baking sheet
thin slices of flank steak on a baking sheet

What Is French Dip Sauce Made Of?

The classic meaty “jus” that comes alongside a French dip for, well, dipping, is perhaps the sandwiches’ most defining characteristic. It sets it apart. Plus, it’s just FUN to dip your sandwich. But what is homemade au jus sauce made from? Au jus sauce is pretty much just seasoned beef broth, and, specifically, our au jus is made from beef broth seasoned with:

  • Thyme
  • Salt
  • Sherry
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
homemade french dip sandwiches open face on a baking sheet with thinly sliced steak and garlic butter
homemade french dip sandwiches open face on a baking sheet with thinly sliced steak, garlic butter and gruyere cheese
homemade french dip sandwiches on a baking sheet with thinly sliced steak, garlic butter and melted gruyere cheese
four homemade french dip sandwiches on a baking sheet with thinly sliced steak, garlic butter and gruyere cheese

How to Make French Dip Sandwiches

Our recipe makes not one, not two but FOUR French dip sandwiches! Sandwiches for the whole family—yahoo! They’re super simple, too. Here’s how easy it is to make a French dip:

  1. Grill (or sear) your steak to a perfect medium rare.
  2. Slice the steak against the grain as thin as possible.
  3. Make the au jus sauce—simmer the broth and seasonings until they’re melded.
  4. Butter the baguettes and sprinkle them with granulated garlic.
  5. Dip the steak pieces in the au just before laying them in the prepped bread.
  6. Top the steak with cheese!
  7. Broil until melty.
  8. Serve with a side of that delicious beefy jus.
the best french dip sandwiches on a serving plater with thinly sliced steak, garlic butter, swiss cheese and au jus sauce

More Toasty, Melty Sandwich Recipes To Try

Tools You’ll Need

the best french dip sandwiches on a serving plater with thinly sliced steak, garlic butter, swiss cheese and au jus sauce
the best french dip sandwiches on a serving plater with thinly sliced steak, garlic butter, swiss cheese and au jus sauce

When I Dip You Dip We Dip

Sorry. Couldn’t help it. Please forgive us. Anyway, if you make this French dip, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

French Dip Sandwich

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Calories: 661

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb Skirt or flank steak
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 6" french or hoagie rolls, sliced in half diagonally
  • 6 tbsp Butter, softened
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder, granulated
  • 2 cups Grated gruyere or swiss cheese
  • Minced parsley for garnish, optional

Au Jus

  • 4 cups Beef stock
  • 1/4 tsp Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sherry wine
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Onion powder

Method

  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Generously salt and pepper the steak and sear it until it reaches medium rare (135°F on an instant read thermometer), depending on thickness about 3 minutes each side. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes. Slice the steak into strips, as thin as possible against the grain and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan set over medium heat, whisk the beef stock, dried thyme, salt, sherry, Worcestershire, garlic and onion powder, until fully combined. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Butter the inside of the each of the french or hoagie rolls and sprinkle with garlic powder and place them open faced on a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Turn oven broiler on medium. Quickly dip the strips of steak into the broth and place them in even amounts onto one side of each roll. Sprinkle ⅓ cup cheese on each sandwich and arrange them open face on the baking sheet.
  5. Place the baking sheet under the broiler until cheese begins to melt, watching carefully for about 2 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley if desired.
  6. In small cocottes or ramekins ladle ¾ cup serving of au jus into each container. Serve au jus with the warm sandwich.

French Dip Sandwich

Questions & Reviews

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  • Ashley Ponce

    Add a little horseradish and this sandwich is amazing!

    OH YEAH!! I love horseradish!