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French Dip Sandwich

Summary; French Dip Sandwich recipe.  A French Dip Sandwich prepared with beef, preferably prime rib, on a roll with au jus. Originally served in southern California the French Dip Sandwich has become an American favorite. A French Dip sandwich  is, most common, a thinly sliced roast beef sandwich served with au jus (beef broth) on the side for dipping. It is usually served on a hoagie (that is a sub  roll for Westerners) style bun, piled high and sliced in half for ease of handling.

The invention of the French Dip sandwich is believed to have taken place in Los Angeles, California in the early part of the 20th century. Although the city seems to be the birth place, two different restaurants claim ownership of the French Dip sandwich, "Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet" and "Philippe's - The Original".

Instead of serving the broth on the side and dipping the French Dip sandwich as you go, the cut side of the bread was dipped in broth before assembly of the French Dip sandwich and still is in these two restaurants. There is also what the restaurants call the 'double dip". The double gets both halves of the bread dipped in au jus. It is also made with your choice of pork, beef or lamb but always dipped in beef broth at Philippe's - The Original.

Although both restaurants claim inventing the sandwich, Philippe's seems to be more widely recognized as the birthplace of the French Dip. Legend has it the dipped sandwich was a mistake. Philippe accidently dropped a roll into the au jus and the customer said he would eat it anyway and the French Dip was born.

Roasted boneless prime rib  makes the best "French Dip" sandwiches in my opinion because of the tenderness of the cut, not to mention the flavor. It makes a better French Dip sandwich if you trim the fatty tail from the left over prime rib like you would a rib eye steak. If you don't have left over au jus. Try using strained  Lipton's Onion Soup  it makes an excellent broth or pick up some beef base from your local store and follow directions on making broth.

If you check, some warehouse style stores, carry a base specifically for making au jus. Gordon's Food service in the mid west carries au jus base and doesn't charge a membership fee and if you look around in your area you can probably can find it in a store near you. Last time I checked Sam's Club did not carry the au jus base but they did have a beef base which is not as richly flavored but still makes a good dip for your sandwich. You can also find au jus mix in packets in many grocery stores.

The French Dip sandwich can be prepared with onions, cheese or a spread of your choice, depending on your preference. I prefer meat only if I am using a good cut of beef like a prime rib. The meat only style, is considered traditional but you can't go wrong with any variation of the French Dip.

It is not technically a French Dip but roasted prime rib with horseradish and mayonnaise sauce, is also a very good way to convert your left over prime rib into a great lunch item.


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