Slow-cooked beef. Creamy, melty cheese. Fluffy French bread. Beer jus.
These ingredients are what make up the French Beer Dip – A re-invented version of the classic French Dip, and you will want to stick your face in it again, and again….. yes, again.
When you work at a restaurant, you eat there quite a bit. While working at T.G.I.Friday’s, I had my fair share of French Dips (and Cajun Chicken Sandwiches, and Buffalo Chicken Salads). I had so many, that you end up getting bored with the “same old” menu items. You start to get creative within the limits of what the kitchen can handle, and in this case, it was adding otherwise odd ingredients to the classic French Dip. I was definitely a fan of both tomatoes and green chiles. Add those to a “Dip,” and I was in heaven.
I had to re-visit that nostalgia with beautiful summer heirloom tomatoes, while also throwing in a different flair with the gremolata. It adds a fresh, different flavor with the heavy beef, cheese, and copious amounts of bread.
I went with a brown ale for the cooking liquid just because. Brown beef… brown ale. We’re super-scientific over here. Port Brewing Company‘s Board Meeting Brown Ale was the beer of choice, though I’m sure any brown will do. I thought that the coffee and chocolate notes of this beer would do the dip a service, so I went for it, and it paid off!
Yes, I went there. WOW. The pre-dipping of the bread in the jus is key. The bread gets all spongy – but not too much, and filled with the liquid gold keeping the meat moist. The tomatoes add an acidity that cuts the heaviness of the meat, bread and cheese, as does the gremolata.
It’s like “Stay outta my face while I eat this, or I’ll get all up in yours.” Seriously. I hear the angels singing.
- For The Meat
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 1/2 Pounds Organic, Grass Fed Beef Sirloin Top Roast
- For The Cooking Liquid(Jus)
- 5 Cloves Garlic, diced
- 2 Medium Onions, sliced
- 1 Teaspoon Diced Ginger
- 1 Cup Beer ( I used Port Brewing Boardroom Brown Ale)
- 1 Cup Beef/Chicken/Vegetable Stock
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon Molasses
- 2 Teaspoons Worcestershire
- 1/2 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- For Optional Gremolata
- 1 Tablespoons Grated Orange Peel
- 1 Tablespoons Finely Diced Fresh Rosemary
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1 Large Loaf French Bread, cut in fourths, and split
- 1 Sliced Heirloom Tomato
- 8 Slices Provolone Cheese
- Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high. Let it come up to temperatue.
- Season the meat with the salt and pepper, then sear on all sides.
- While the meat sears, mix all of the cooking liquid ingredients, and place in the crock pot.
- Add meat to crock pot, and set on lowest setting. Let cook for 8 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls apart.
- Remove the meat from the liquid, and allow to cool enough to handle.
- Carefully slice the meat against the grain if you can. If it falls apart, it’ll still taste great!
- Strain the jus through a sieve, so you’re left with a debris free liquid.
- Set aside.
- Smash garlic with the side of your knife, and mince it as much as you can.
- Sprinkle the salt over the diced garlic, and with the side of your knife, push down hard,and pull the knife toward you (with the blade facing away from you). This will create a garlic paste.
- Mix the garlic with the orange peel and rosemary.
- Set aside
- Toast the french bread however you see fit. The broiler is easiest for me.
- Pile the meat on top of the bottom bun, add sliced tomato if you want, then add two slices of provolone cheese, and return to the broiler until the cheese melts.
- When the cheese is melted, remove from the broiler, take the top bun, dip it briefly in the jus, just to get the first quarter inch wet.
- Immediately top the sandwich with the bread and serve with individual bowls of the jus for dipping, gremolata for sprinkling, more sliced tomato, and a nice brown ale!