One of my family's favorite comfort foods is a French dip sandwich, which is very simple to make. Even the clumsiest cook will have success with this recipe.
I used to use a slow-cooker to cook my French dip beef, but I've found it's just as easy and quicker to cook it in the oven.
This recipe makes 4-6 sandwiches.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. rump roast
1/2 cup soy sauce or red wine
1 large onion, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 small rosemary sprig
2-3 thyme sprigs
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves
Salt, to taste
baguettes, hoagie or hero rolls
Sliced provolone cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
Season the rump roast generously with salt.
When the oil is hot and just starting to smoke, sear the roast to brown on all sides.
Remove the rump roast from the pot and set it aside.
Add the soy sauce or wine to the pot and scrape the bottom to de-glaze it.
Toss the onions and garlic into the pot and saute until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add all the remaining ingredients except the rolls and cheese to the pot and give them a stir.
Lay the rump roast on top of the onions and other ingredients and pour in enough water to just cover the roast.
Bring the water to a boil. Then, cover the pot and cook in the oven until the beef is tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Remove the beef from the pot and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
While the beef is resting, strain the liquids from the pot into a saucepan. Save the onions if you wish to serve them on the sandwiches.
Bring the liquid to a boil on the stove and reduce by about one-third or until you have a rich, shimmering au jus dipping sauce.
Slice the meat against the grain and serve on the baguettes or rolls, topped with cheese if you'd like and the (optional) strained onion slices. Serve the dipping sauce on the side.
Photos by Ted Scheffler