/> Raising Angels: Seven (Not So) Quick Takes - French Dip Edition

Friday, October 19, 2012

Seven (Not So) Quick Takes - French Dip Edition

I found the following recipe in the October 2012 edition of Family Circle magazine and added a few tweaks of my own.
I don't usually devote posts to food but I often get asked for recipes and since I knew I was going to be talking about the meal I made for dinner, I decided to take photos along the way. Get ready for your world to be rocked.
Okay, maybe it won't be rocked if these are not already one of you're favorite sandwiches (it's a tie between these and Philly cheese steaks for me), but you're going to love them if for nothing else but how low maintenance they are.

1. Get out your crock pot. Don't you just love this already? Cooking in the morning, when everyone is quiet and all is calm is such a beautiful thing. Walking in the door to a house smelling heavenly and knowing that your dinner is ready to go is just icing on the cake.

Ok. Enough about the glories of crock pot cooking. Seriously though I wish I had dozens of these recipes. If you have a great one and want to share it, feel free. My bad, I did say enough about the crock pot didn't I. So after you bask in the glow of your cooking friend, spray that sucker with cooking spray, cut up two or three large onions and throw them in.
I sent this photo to Nelson this morning and it garnered an, "Mmmmm!" Some people have their men at "Hello." I have mine at onions.
Add a can of beef broth and three tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. I didn't take a photo of that because, well, that's not impressive or very mouth-watering to me.
2. Take good sized roast. I used chuck roast because all that fat being cooked with it makes the meat quite tasty (don't worry, I didn't put it on the sandwiches). I think it was around 3lbs. This could easily be doubled but it was the first time I tried it so I wanted to make sure it was a hit before I made mounds of it.
Rub the roast with a combination of salt, garlic powder and pepper. I rubbed it generously because I like a lot of flavor and because for some reason rubbing meat is fun to me. I'm weird like that. After you're done rubbing, stick it on top of the onions and turn the crock pot on low for around eight hours or high if you want it done in six. Mine was in by 9 AM and ready to go after seven hours on low.
The best part is that my kitchen looked like this by 9:10 and I was out the door.
3. When your roast is so tender, it's falling apart, you're gold. Take it out and shred it. This took absolutely no effort on my part. I got out the big knife and everything, but the meat fell apart as I took it out.
Fish out the onions and keep the sauce. Trust me, you're going to be very glad you did.

4. Get some hoagie rolls, open them up and broil them until they look nice and toasty. Aren't these pretty? I just love it when I don't forget about things in the broiler.

5. You can spread the bread with whatever you like. My guys used horseradish sauce and us womenfolk just kept them plain. Shoot, we love bread. A little butter and the two of us would have been good, but I practiced self-restraint and waited until the sandwich came together to eat it. Yay me!

Pile the bun with the meat and loads of those juicy, caramelized onions - which I also failed to photograph, not because they are boring but because they were so hot and juicy I couldn't manage the camera and onions at the same time. You'll have to use your imagination.
6. I'm going to state here, for the record, that I know good and well that French Dip sandwiches do not have cheese on them (they are probably not made from chuck roast either). I know this because I am a connoisseur of these sandwiches (this translates into I order them a whole heck of a lot when I go out). However, my other favorite sandwich to order is the Philly cheese steak because, hello, cheese AND steak - enough said.
Now that you're well-versed in my sandwich loving history (I will follow this up with posts about how I also love BLTs, Cubans, Gyros, Grilled Cheese, and just about anything you put between two slice of anything with carbs. Just kidding. About the posts, not about how much I love sandwiches. What can I say? I think Dr. Atkins is mentally off. A life with no carbs is not a happy one.), I'm going to tell you that I decided at the grocery store that these sandwiches would be over-the-top with some provolone added.
I'm not going to lie, I was right on the money with this one. I put the cheese on top of all that other good stuff and stuck it back under the broiler just long enough to get the cheese nice and gooey.
7. Next you take those bad boys out of the oven and put the bun on top. Stick it on a plate and put a cup of that juice you saved (if I were French or fancy I'd say au jus but I'm neither) right next to it. Dip that thing of beauty into the liquid and take a bite.
I was going to take a picture of the sandwich with a bite taken out of it but by then my hands were too messy. Also, it was really just too delicious to put down.

As you're scarfing down your culinary delight, be prepared to hear things like, "Mama, this thing rocks!" and "You can totally make this again!" If you don't, invite my kids over and they'll say them and tell you that you're the best cook in the world.
As a side note (no pun intended), notice that there is nothing else on the plate.  Yep, since I was like all proud of myself for how totally prepared I was and so stoked about how good this was going to be I totally forgot about side dishes and chips just seemed to lessen their greatness. You want to know a secret? Not one person said anything about the solo sandwich on their plate. That's how good they thought the French Dips were. That, and well, they were shoving them down as they rushed off to play rehearsal and football practice. What can I say? I'm not perfect.
Try these tomorrow. You'll thank me. You can go here for more quick takes but I'm guessing they won't make your mouth water. :-)


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