Like many couples, Stan and I have different ideas about what makes a good meal. I take more of the foodie approach. I like variety; I want different flavors and colors and textures. I like to try new things – even when they take a long time to make and turn our kitchen into a disaster. I like the process almost as much as the eating. I also think vegetables are a necessary component of every (non-breakfast) meal.
Stan, on the other hand, is more of a stereotypical man. He sees food as fuel. To him, trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen merely delays getting food on the table – and leaves more dishes to wash. He most certainly does not consider vegetables a necessary part of any meal. Stan likes meat. With a side of meat. And some potatoes. And ideally, some bread for dipping.
Considering our different approaches to eating, I feel pretty lucky that Stan will eat pretty much anything I put in front of him, including vegetables. Since he eats kale, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, and other assorted green food on a regular basis, I like to “reward” him from time to time with a “man meal”. Like French Dip Sandwiches au Jus.
When I told Stan I was going to be making French Dip Sandwiches for dinner, he actually got excited about food. (This is rare unless we’re talking about Doritos.) When he came home the next night and I was shredding the beef, I actually had to kick him out of the kitchen so he wouldn’t eat all of it before I had a chance to turn it into sandwiches. (I felt a little guilty about that since I couldn’t stop snacking on the meat myself.) And then the sandwiches were ready - crusty bread filled with tender, salty, savory beef and sliced provolone cheese with a cup of jus (the beef’s cooking liquid) for dipping. I even made roasted potatoes to go with the sandwiches. Stan was a happy man. So happy he didn’t even mind the kale salad.
One Year Ago: Peppery Monterey Jack Pasta Salad
French Dip Sandwiches au Jus
Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
3/4 cup beef broth/stock
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. Dijon or Creole mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs. (approx.) beef chuck roast
6 to 8 sandwich rolls or a loaf of crusty bread cut into smaller pieces
6 to 8 slices Provolone cheese
Place the onion slices in a slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk together the beef broth, water, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and garlic. Pour over the onions. Season both sides of the beef with salt and pepper and place on top of the onions.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 7 to 9 hours, or until the beef is falling-apart tender. Remove the beef and onions from the cooking liquid. Skim the fat off the liquid. (If, like me, you don’t own a fat separator, you can pour the liquid into a bowl and pop it into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to cool down enough for the fat to rise to the top.) Shred the beef and return it and the onions to the slow cooker to stay warm. (I turned mine to the warm setting.)
Preheat your broiler.
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place the split rolls onto the baking sheet. Place the beef and onions on the bottom halves of the rolls, then top with Provolone. Broil until the cheese is melted.
Serve the sandwiches with cups of beef jus for dipping.
Serves 6 to 8.