These easy slow cooker French dips are perfect for cozy meals on busy weeknights. Featuring delicious slow cooker caramelized onions and a cozy au jus broth for dipping!
Something about homemade French dip sandwiches just screams comfort food. With this beer-infused crockpot recipe, you get to enjoy a delicious sandwich (plus a rich, cozy broth for dipping!) with minimal effort.
Scroll to the recipe card below for a full ingredients list with exact quantities.
These homemade French dips are pretty straightforward, but we want to highlight a few things before you jump in:
- Beef Roast. Because the beef will be in the slow cooker for so long, you can get away with a tougher cut (it will tenderize as it cooks!) A rump roast, chuck roast, or sirloin roast all work well here. We used a boneless roast; if you opt for bone-in, you may need to extend the cook time.
- Beer! We used a rich, hearty stout in this recipe, but you can use any kind of beer you like! IPAs can be a little hit or miss with this recipe, but Pale Ales, Stouts, and Porters typically work well.
- Baguettes are our bread of choice for french dips, but you can use any sandwich roll you like. For a softer sandwich, opt for a hoagie roll, a soft brioche bun, or anything else you have on hand!
- Dijon Mustard gets rubbed over the beef roast to add a bit of depth to this recipe.
- Sliced onions caramelize quite well in the slow cooker here (and while they aren't quite as buttery as traditional caramelized onions, they're awfully close!)
Variations and Substitutions
These slow cooker french dip sandwiches are fairly forgiving: This recipe is easy to customize with whatever you have on hand! A few of our favorite riffs:
- Turn this recipe into a stew by adding your favorite veggies (potatoes, carrots, pearl onions) to the slow cooker along with the beef.
- Add some veggies. Cook a few handfuls of mushrooms along with the beef for a heartier, more nutritious sandwich filling. You can also add some greens (arugula, lettuce, etc) to these sandwiches. (They're great with a handful of our lemon arugula salad on top!)
- Add cheese. Layer a slice of mozzarella, provolone cheese, swiss, or white cheddar on top of the beef when you build these sandwiches.
- For extra flavor, add a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to the cooking liquid before turning on the crock pot. You can also add your favorite spices if you'd like a more complex dish (like onion powder, garlic powder, or even a French onion soup spice packet!)
Start by brushing your beef roast with a bit of Dijon mustard (Image 1, above), then season each side with a generous pinch of kosher salt.
Pro Tip: We use a pastry brush here to keep things tidy, but you can also use clean hands to rub the mustard over the meat!
Place the roast into the bowl of your slow cooker, then scatter some sliced onions and a few cloves of garlic into the empty spaces around the beef (Image 2). Pour the beef stock and beer into the bowl (Image 3).
When everything is in the slow cooker (Image 4), cover the bowl and cook on low for 8-10 hours, until the meat is tender and the onions are a deep golden brown (Image 5).
Pro Tip: You can flip the roast over and give the onions a stir halfway through cooking if you like - this step will even out the color on everything, but won't affect the flavor too much.
When the beef is tender, use two forks to gently pull it into pieces (Image 6), and continue shredding until the meat reaches your desired texture (Image 7).
Layer the beef onto your sliced baguettes, ladle a bit of the broth into bowls for dipping, and you're ready to go!
A Few FAQs
Yes! Substitute beef stock for the beer in this crockpot French dip recipe, or use your favorite root beer or nonalcoholic beer.
We always recommend cooking with beer that you also like to drink! With a rich meat like beef, we love using a stout or porter (just make sure you don't accidentally grab a flavored beer, like a vanilla porter or peanut butter stout, as they can affect the flavor!) You can also use a red ale, a hoppy IPA, or a pale ale in this recipe, although the au jus won't be quite as rich. This recipe is also delicious with a hearty red wine instead of the beer!
Au jus - French for "with juice" - is pronounced "ah ZHOO" and refers to the light, brothy sauce left behind after meat has been cooked. It's basically a richer, more delicious version of plain beef broth (and it's perfect as a dipping sauce for French dips!)
Yes - you can braise the meat for French dip sandwiches in a Dutch oven at low heat (~250-325° F) for 4-8 hours. We recommend loosely following the directions for our red wine braised short ribs if you'd like to cook the meat for these boozy slow cooker French dips in the oven instead.
More Easy Slow Cooker Recipes
Hungry for more? Check out some of our favorite crockpot meals!
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These easy crockpot french dips feature caramelized onions and a hearty au jus dipping sauce made with your favorite beer!
- 2 pound beef roast (we used a boneless sirloin roast)
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- kosher salt, to taste
- ½ large yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
- 1 cup beef stock
- 16 ounces beer (we recommend a stout or porter) (about 2 cups)
- 1-2 large baguettes, sliced horizontally and then cut into sandwich-size portions (use more or less bread depending on how many sandwiches you want and how full you'd like them to be!)
- Brush Dijon mustard over all sides of your roast, then season with a bit of kosher salt.
- Place beef, onion, garlic, beef stock, and beer in the bowl of a large slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, until beef is fork tender and onions have darkened in color. Optional: Flip roast over and give onions a stir halfway through cooking for more even coloring.
- Use two forks to lightly shred the beef, then add a few forkfuls of the meat to each baguette sandwich. Ladle a bit of the broth into small bowls for dipping. Serve immediately.
This recipe makes quite a bit of beef: Big meat-eaters may get just 4-5 sandwiches out of this recipe, although we often add an extra baguette and stretch the beef to make 6+ servings. Save any cooled, leftover beef in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It's great reheated for tacos, sandwiches, pizza, or pasta!
What cut of beef should I use? We like using a sirloin roast, chuck roast, or rump roast here. Because the beef will cook for such a long time, you can get away with using a relatively tough cut of meat (no need to opt for more expensive, tender cuts like short ribs - unless you want to!) We use a boneless beef cut; if you use a bone-in cut, you may need to extend the cook time.
Skim any excess fat off the surface of the au jus before serving if you like (different cuts of meat will release more fat into the broth - just use a spoon to skim off any pockets of grease when you're ready to serve!)
What kind of beer should I use? Our general rule of thumb: Use a beer you like to drink! Stouts and porters are our favorite choices here - their rich, creamy profile plays really well with the beef in this recipe - although you can also use IPAs, Pale Ales, Red Ales, Bocks, or your favorite nonalcoholic beer (we love Athletic Brewing NA beers!) You can also swap the beer for additional beef stock, root beer, Dr. Pepper, or even red wine.
Additions and Substitutions. This is a pretty flexible recipe: Adjust it to suit your own tastes! Add additional onion, garlic, or mustard if you like, or increase the amount of liquid if you like to have extra au jus for dipping (as written, this recipe makes about 3-4 cups of au jus). Skip the sandwiches and turn this meal into a stew by adding baby red potatoes and chopped carrots to the slow cooker along with the onions. Swap the baguettes for a softer sandwich roll if you prefer. Add a slice of cheese or a handful of greens (or your other favorite toppings!) to each sandwich if you like.
- Serving Size: 1 sandwich
- Calories: 413
- Sugar: 1.6 g
- Sodium: 1058.6 mg
- Fat: 11.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 12 g
- Protein: 48.8 g
- Cholesterol: 134 mg
Keywords: crockpot, roast beef