The arrival of Fall not only brings out my desire to cook things in the crock pot, but the need to as well between trying to squeeze in workouts and shuttling my daughter to dance practice. As much as I would like to have time to put together a home cooked meal each weeknight, I simply don't have time.
I am on a quest to put together an arsenal of crock pot recipes so that my family isn't eating out of paper bags and styrofoam containers five nights out of the week. While there are plenty of slow cooker recipes out there, I find a lot of them don't offer much in the way of flavor. Or they require as much prep work as I would do cooking a meal on the stove top and negating the convenience of using a slow cooker.
My daughter loves french dip sandwiches so when I came across a recipe for them using the crock pot, I knew it would be a first entry into my quick/easy/delicious recipe arsenal. I took a basic recipe and added a few of my own tweaks to up the flavor ante. Worcestershire, steak seasoning and tomato paste add depth to both the beef and the jus. I also threw in a squeeze of Taste #5 Umami Paste, one of my new favorite ingredients. This paste adds the elusive 'fifth flavor' of umami to any dish and I find myself adding it to dishes more and more.
As expected, the slow cooker tenderizes the roast leaving you with silken slivers of juicy beef. Piled high on a lightly buttered and toasted roll and then topped with Swiss cheese, this sandwich was delicious. Dipped in the rich, full of flavor jus took it to another level entirely. This jus is not just beef broth, but a deep, hearty, almost thick juice that is finger licking good. A perfect sandwich for a busy Fall evening.
French Dip Sandwiches
2 lbs boneless beef chuck roast
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
1 14 oz can low-sodium beef broth
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp Umami paste (optional)
1 tsp steak seasoning
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 sandwich rolls
4 slices cheese (I used Swiss but provolone, mozzarella or cheddar would work)
Place the roast in the slow cooker. Mix together the soup mix, beef broth, Worcestershire, tomato paste, umami paste (if using), steak seasoning, and black pepper. Pour over the roast. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until beef is tender.
Remove the roast to a pan (I used a cookie sheet) and shred the meat. Pour liquid from slow cooker through a strainer into a container. Skim some of the fat from the juice. Return meat to slow cooker or into a serving dish. Pour about 1/2 cup of liquid over the meat to keep it moist. Reserve remaining liquid to serve as jus.
Preheat broiler. Butter sandwich rolls and toast until butter is melted and rolls are lightly brown. Remove from oven. Pile beef onto rolls and top with a slice of cheese. Return to oven and broil for a couple of minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve with jus on the side.