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French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus & Horseradish Herb Butter

French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus & Horseradish Herb Butter

There is nothing quite as cozy as a good French dip sandwich. The thinly sliced meat and soft bread dipped into flavorful au jus (brothy gravy) makes for the most satisfying lunch. This is my own rendition of a French dip, with sweet red peppers and horseradish herb butter for a fresh take on this classic sandwich.

Tip: Take the meat out of the refrigerator 2 hours before cooking to bring to room temperature. Paying attention to the internal temperature will ensure that you don’t overcook your roast. Cooking on a rack makes it easier to cook the meat evenly without turning. It also makes it easy to catch the flavorful drippings for the au jus.

French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus & Horseradish Herb Butter

Special Equipment: roasting pan fitted with a rack, sharp knife for slicing meat, meat thermometer

Recipe makes 6 servings. Total time 2 hours and 15 minutes. Active time 50 minutes.


For the Roast:

  • 2 pound top sirloin or top block roast, room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Au Jus:

  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 sprigs thyme, including the stems
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Plus the drippings from the roast

For the Butter:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • ½ cup prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, very finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pound provolone cheese, thinly sliced 
  • One and a half large loaves of french bread

For the Peppers:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter ( ½ stick)
  • 2 sweet red peppers, de-seeded and thinly sliced 
  • 2 sweet orange peppers, de-seeded and thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 


  1. For the roast: Preheat the oven to 450℉.
  2. Rub the garlic, salt and pepper evenly into every surface of the roast. Place the roast, fat side up, on a rack nestled inside a roasting pan and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Put the meat in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat down to 350℉. Roast for 45 minutes. Use a meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the roast. Continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 150℉. The whole roasting time will be about 1 1/2 hours, but paying attention to the internal temperature will ensure that you don’t overcook your roast.
  4. Once the internal temperature reaches 150℉, remove the roast from the oven and place it on a cutting board, cover it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the horseradish butter and peppers.
  6. For the butter and bread: Add the butter to a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add the horseradish, chives, salt, and pepper, mixing and mashing until fully blended.
  7. Split the French bread in half lengthwise and spread a generous layer of the horseradish butter on both pieces of the cut loaf. Place the pieces of bread, buttered side up, on a baking sheet. Arrange the cheese on top of the butter on the top piece of the loaves. Set aside.
  8. For the peppers: Combine the butter, peppers and salt in a cast-iron skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the peppers begin to soften. Turn the heat down to low, cover the skillet and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Test a pepper to make sure it’s soft and not at all crunchy. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  9. While the meat is resting, make the au jus.
  10. For the au jus: Take the roasting pan with all of the drippings and place it on the stovetop. Add the red onion, butter, thyme and salt to the pan and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft. Add the broth to the pan and bring to a simmer, using a wooden spoon to scrape off all of the browned bits that are stuck to the pan. Once the liquid has come to a simmer, turn off the heat and strain it through a fine-mesh sieve.
  11. To assemble the sandwiches: Once the meat has rested, slice it as thinly as possible across the grain. Cover with foil to keep it warm.
  12. Toast the pan of buttered bread in the oven at 350℉ for 10 to 15 minutes, until the butter and cheese are melted. The bread should be warm and light golden brown. Remove from the oven. Arrange the meat slices on the bottom piece of the loaves and top the meat with the peppers. Cover the sandwich with the top slices of the loaves, melted cheese side down. Slice on a diagonal into 6 equal-sized sandwiches. Serve the sandwiches warm with a small cup of au jus on the side of each for dipping the sandwiches in.

    Recipe first featured on Ranch To Table Season 4 Episode 2: "After the Rain" on the Magnolia Network.



    Photographs by BJ Golnick and Brian Skope

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