Some say that the best invention known to man was the wheel, or more recently, modern medicine. While I don’t necessarily contest their importance, I feel that the sandwich should be added to the illustrious list of human accomplishments. In all seriousness, imagine your life if the sandwich had never come to fruition. What would people eat for lunch? Would there even be lunch? Would children survive without their PB&J? Don’t even get me started with the breakfast sandwich. I find the prospect of a sandwichless world very, very depressing.
I won’t bore you with a long history lesson on the etymology of the sandwich, however, I think it’s important to note that the sandwich was named after John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich. Why is this important? Well, around the 1700s, Mr. Sandwich requested his meat in between two pieces of bread because of how convenient it was—he was a regular gambler and eating a ‘sandwich’ at the gambling tables was much more conducive to his time consuming hobby than eating a formal, sit-down dinner in another part of his manor. So from day one, the sandwich has been attached to convenience.
Now let’s get to the meat of it. Dinner sometimes just seems like another chore. On nights where a long cooking session is out of the question, we like to fall back on the sandwich, in thanks to its versatility and convenience. When I crossed paths with a few quick and easy French dip sandwich recipes, I knew our next sandwich night would have to consist of tasty roast beef on a cheesy, toasted hoagie/sub roll with delectable au jus on the side. The French dip sandwiches were such a success that we have been making them weekly for the past two months. The beef and cheese combination is extremely tasty and there is nothing like dipping the sandwich into the mouth-watering au jus. Just add a salad or vegetable as a side to the French dip sandwiches, and you have yourself a quick, easy, and delicious dinner.
Ingredients (makes two sandwiches):
-1 standard can (about 2 cups) of French onion soup
-1.5 cups of beef broth
-Approximately 1 pound of medium cut roast beef (half pound per sandwich)
-2 six-inch hoagie/sub rolls
-Your choice of cheese – enough to put on both sandwiches (I used two pieces of sliced provolone)
-Take the roast beef out of the fridge so it can come to room temperature while you’re preparing the au jus.
-Preheat your oven to a high broil (for toasting the bread and cheese).
-In a medium sized pot, combine the French onion soup and the beef broth and bring to a boil, uncovered.
-Keep the mixture at a rolling boil for about ten minutes.
-During this time, place your preferred choice of cheese on the hoagie/sub rolls and bake until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. You want to time this right so the roast beef ends up on warm and toasted bread. It’s not the end of the world if you need to pop the bread/cheese back in the oven to ensure a toasted sandwich.
-After the ten minutes has elapsed, turn the burner down to medium-low until the contents have stopped boiling (this is important because you don’t want to put the beef in when the au jus is too hot or else it will toughen the meat).
-Once the au jus stops boiling, take the meat for sandwich and dunk it in the pot for about thirty seconds—you really don’t need the beef to cook in the au jus for that long. With tongs, take the beef out and place it on your toasted bun with cheese. Make sure to grab some of the onions from the French onion soup mixture.
-Repeat the last step for the second sandwich.
-Carefully ladle out the au jus into a small bowl – I used about 1/3 of a cup of au jus per sandwich – and serve on the side with the sandwich.