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- 1 large lemon, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 10 large fresh sage leaves
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill lemon slices until charred, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate; chop coarsely.
Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add sage leaves, garlic, and grilled lemon pieces with any juices, then sugar. Cook until shallots start to color, about 5 minutes. Add wine and vodka. Using long wooden skewer, ignite liquors and let burn off, about 4 minutes. Add beef broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until jus is reduced to 3 cups, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.
Whether you need a quick dessert or want a flavorful topping for crepes or homemade ice cream, caramelized apples are the perfect recipe. The apples are meant to be just ever so slightly sweet, not overpowering and sugary, so they’re versatile in nature. Spicy-tart and thoroughly warming, they make a fabulous addition to a variety of dishes, from French toast to pork chops.
The apples are sauteed in butter, sugar, and cinnamon until tender and caramelized, and then apple cider is added to make a thick sauce. This mixture is the ideal filling for a "cheater" version of a tarte tatin or even an apple pie.
Easy Balsamic Reduction
Balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) comes from Modena in the Emilia Romana region of Italy. The vinegar is made from grape juice which is simmered down to create a very concentrated liquid. Once it has been turned into a very concentrated liquid, it is then put into wooden barrels to ferment, sometimes for decades. These are by far the sweetest and most expensive to buy.
Balsamic reduction, aka glaze, is a wonderful condiment and loved by cooks and chefs the world over for its complex, thick vinegary sweetness. However, you can create your own concentrated sweet vinegar at home which mimics—but can never replace—the genuine one at a fraction of the price. And it is so very easy to do.
The balsamic vinegar to use for the reduction should not be the aged ones, but the commercial and much cheaper ones, which tend to be less sweet and colored, using caramel rather than fermentation. They are excellent to use in salad dressings and are perfect for making a balsamic reduction.
Once you have made your balsamic reduction, its uses in the kitchen are endless. From decoration to adding an extra dimension of flavor to many dishes, such as meats, fish, cheeses, and vegetables to strawberries (yes, you read that right), and even ice cream, this recipe is surprisingly versatile.
JUST TAKE ME TO THE FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES ALREADY!
If you’d rather skip my (pretty darn helpful) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this deliciously easy french dip recipe, just scroll right on down to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card!
If I had to pick a preferred protein, it would totally be beef.
Chicken is “cleaner” and fish is less fatty, but I just can’t help myself. I love a juicy steak, a big fat cheeseburger, old-fashioned pot roast, and giant meatballs on my spaghetti.
I totally respect vegans, but I could never make that jump.
Good thing, too, since the holidays are knocking down our doors.
YIKES. Today is November, isn’t it? How is that even possible? Yesterday didn’t even feel like Halloween!
I was busy bopping around the house, doing some bedroom remodel things, and totally skipped out on treating the trick-or-treaters. I mean, our dog flips out whenever anyone is at the door anyway, so it would have been impossible to juggle him and the candy, anyway.
Of course, that didn’t stop one group of entrepreneurial kiddos to come to the door and ring the bell.
I didn’t even have our lights ON, but it’s motion activated, meaning they approached a dark porch.
Maybe things have changed, but I always thought that meant there were no candy bars at the inn.
Now I’m stuck with somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 lollipops. Woe is me.
I guess I can get crafty for the holidays?
So. These French Dip Sandwiches.
Yeah, so back on topic. How are you feeling about turkey?
Am I the only one who almost exclusively reserves my desire for a full bird to one day of the year?
Thanksgiving is my turkey holiday – everything is fair game for whatever fancy protein comes my way. Ham, lamb, prime rib…
Abe made me fall hard for prime rib last year, and his recipe will be the perfect beef for these French dip sandwiches if you’re not feeling prepping a London broil on Black Friday.
My favorite new addition to my French dips are these adorable Pepperidge Farm Stone Baked Artisan Rolls! I usually buy hoagie rolls for them, but since discovering these stone-baked, crispy outside, soft inside French rolls, I’ll never go back.
They’re single sized! No need to cut!
Plus, they come frozen, so I always have some handy for any occasion.
Pepperidge Farm always does it right with their baked goods. You can count on finding the simplest, finest ingredients on their labels, and no artificial preservatives.
Beautiful, hand-scored, crunchy dinner rolls that you didn’t have to make? Win.
Since you’ve gotta be feeling these French dip sandwiches as much as I am right now, grab some $1 off coupons and pick up a few bags of Pepperidge Farm Artisan Rolls (they come in multigrain, too!) on your next shopping trip.
Hold on to some for Thanksgiving…they’ll even be delish with your turkey dinner!
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Roast Sandwiches with Au Jus
This is most definitely a favorite in my house. It is easy, quick, and honestly, it’s better than any equivalent I’ve ever had in a restaurant.
- 1 whole Beef Rump Roast
- 1 can (14 Oz. Size) French Onion Soup
- 1 can (14 Oz. Size) Beef Broth
- 1 can (12 Oz. Size) Beer
- 2 Tablespoons Seasoning Salt
- 4 loaves Hoagie French Rolls
- 8 slices Provolone Cheese (2 Slices Per Sandwich)
- 1 stick Butter
*Place roast into crock pot.
*Pour all 3 cans of ingredients over the roast.
*Top generously with seasoning salt.
*Let it cook on low for about 8 hours (the exact time depends on the size of the roast. The bigger it is, the longer is cooks).
*Turn oven to 200 degrees.
*Cut rolls in half and butter both halves.
*Place cheese on one of the halves of each sandwich
*Place rolls on a baking sheet and put in the oven until the cheese has warmed and the bread is somewhat crisp.
*Cut edges of fat off of roast and tear the meat apart to put on the sandwich.
*Use soup/beer mixture as au jus for dipping.
Note: My family won’t eat onions, but if yours does, you can put a few slices in a skillet with heated olive oil. Just let ‘em sit, and once the onions are transparent, they’re ready to be placed on top of the sandwich.
More delicious recipes
Have you heard about our newest cookbook, Copycat Cooking? We took over 100 of our favorite restaurant recipes and simplified them so that you can make them right at home!
Every recipe has a beautiful mouth-watering photo and has been picky-eater approved. The directions are simple, easy to follow, and do not require any strange ingredients.
This cookbook includes copycat recipes from Wingers, Texas Roadhouse, Starbucks, Panera, Cheesecake Factory, Kneaders, and so much more. We have you covered from drinks, to dessert and everything in-between.
We are so excited to share these recipes with you.
Lightly caramelized fillet of red label turbot with reduced jus, sliced artichoke, peppers and fennel tops
Make a stock with the chopped up turbot bones and head. Rinse them in cold water. Slice the onions and the leeks. Sweat with the butter, add the bones and cover with cold water. Add the bouquet garni, bring to the boil and skim. Simmer for twenty minutes (do not add salt). Leave to rest when it has finished cooking to obtain a clear stock. Gently pass through a fine cone sieve without pressing and reduce to a slightly syrupy consistency (to the stage before it becomes a glaze). Season.
Cooking the fish
Carefully season the fillets with salt and pepper. Melt the butter and the groundnut oil in a non-stick pan. When the butter begins to foam, add the turbot and cook to a light golden colour to accentuate the flavour of the fish. Cook gently and evenly, with the butter constantly sizzling. The fish is cooked when the internal temperature is 54 °C.
Preparation of the garnish
Turn the artichokes. Place in some water and lemon juice. Slice thinly on a mandolin. Fry the slices in olive oil, keeping them slightly crunchy, season. Set the artichoke slices to one side. Thinly slice the white onions and the green peppers. Cut the red peppers into diamond shapes. Sweat together in olive oil.
Make a small circle four centimetres in diameter in the centre of the plate with the stewed onions and green peppers. Surround with a circle of the artichoke slices (keep four nice slices to decorate the fillet).
Place the fish in the centre. Put the saved artichoke slices on top, interspersed with sprigs of fennel and the red pepper diamonds. Finish with two curling strokes of the reduced jus on the plate on either side of the fish.
Mujaddara (Lentils and Brown Rice with Caramelized Onions)
A few weeks back I had a recipe fail making stuck-pot rice and lentils for the first time. Part of the instructions said the “rice should smell toasty but not burned and you might need to check on it once or twice if you’re making it for the first time.” Well my rice never really smelled toasty, and at the end, when the recipe said to turn the whole pan of rice and lentils out onto a platter, the bottom, which becomes the top, was completely charred. Plus, the lentils were undercooked.
I was crushed! This delicious-smelling meal I was so looking forward to was ruined. I pulled off the charred layer and salvaged what wasn’t burned. It tasted okay, but obviously not how it was supposed to, and the experience had me craving a good lentil and rice meal.
Then a few days ago I came across a recipe for Mujaddara, a Middle Eastern dish of lentils and rice with caramelized onions. It was a similar dish to my huge failure, but without the hard-to-get-right “stuck-pot” part. I had found my redemption recipe!
Once I found the first Mujaddara version, I looked for more and combined aspects of a couple of them. These instructions will work with regular green or brown lentils, but not red, puy (French green), or black beluga lentils. Make sure to use brown basmati rice white won’t work here because cooking times are different.
The cumin, allspice, and bay leaves give this dish warmth and the somewhat crispy caramelized onions lend a really pleasant textural component and a subtle sweetness. A little cool creaminess from the yogurt and a nice kick from the harissa and you’ve got yourself the lentil and rice dish of your (okay, my) dreams. But you will love it too. Enjoy!
Mujaddara (Lentils and Brown Rice with Caramelized Onions)
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 ¾ teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice, rinsed and drained
1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over for debris or pebbles, then rinsed and drained
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
½ cup sliced scallions, light green and green parts only, divided
Plain Greek yogurt (whole or 2%), for serving (omit to keep this vegan)
Harissa or sriracha, for serving
Combine the garlic, bay leaves, cumin, allspice, 1 ½ teaspoons of the salt, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add 5 cups of water and stir. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
When water comes to a boil, stir in the brown rice, lower heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Make sure to keep water at a strong simmer. Stir in the lentils and return to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice and lentils are done, 20-25 minutes.
While rice and lentils are cooking, warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring only occasionally at the start then more frequently once browning begins at the edges of the pan, until the onions are deeply caramelized and crisped, 20-25 minutes adjust the heat down if the onions brown too quickly.
Using a slotted spoon or fish spatula, transfer the onions to a paper towel–lined plate and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and set aside the onions will crisp as they cool.
When the lentils and rice are tender, remove the pot from the heat. Uncover and lay a tea towel across the top of the pan, then replace the lid and let stand for 10 minutes (this will absorb the steam).
Remove the stockpot lid, discard the bay leaves, and smash the garlic cloves against the side of the pan with a fork. Add about three quarters of the scallions and parsley, reserving the rest for garnish. Gently stir and fluff the rice with a fork. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Transfer the rice/lentil mixture to a large serving platter or bowl. Top with the caramelized onions and the remaining scallions and parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature. Top with yogurt and harissa. Makes 4-6 servings.
Recipe: Citrus-Roasted Turkey With Cognac Jus.
Rather than traditional flour-thickened gravy, this recipe features a luscious Cognac-spiked jus alongside the bird. For an extra special touch, quickly sear some halved lemons and oranges in a cast iron skillet or similar pan just prior to serving. They make an elegant garnish for the roasted turkey, and guests can squeeze the juice from the warm and slightly caramelized citrus onto the turkey.
1 turkey, about 15 pounds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 orange, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
3 onions, roughly chopped, divided
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves
½ bunch parsley
1 bunch thyme
5 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
5 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large bulb fennel, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup Cognac
½ cup chicken broth
Chicken broth for deglazing, plus about 6 cups
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup diced onion
¼ cup diced carrots
¼ cup diced fennel
1 cup Cognac
¼ cup orange juice
Drippings from the turkey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
For the turkey: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity of the turkey. Rinse and pat the turkey dry.
Liberally sprinkle the outside of the turkey and the inner cavity with salt and pepper. Massage the softened butter onto the turkey. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the orange, lemon, 1/3 of the onion, plus the garlic, bay leaves, parsley and thyme. Tuck the wing tips under and loosely truss the legs.
Place the remaining onions, along with the carrots, parsnips and fennel, in a large roasting pan. Toss the vegetables with the olive oil and Cognac.
Place the turkey on top of the vegetable mixture. Tent the breast with foil.
Zoe Johns, vintner and president of Turnbull Wines, shared a Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 in Stinson Beach, Calif. John Lee / Special to The Chronicle 2017
Place the turkey in the oven. Rotate the roasting pan 180 degrees every 30 minutes to ensure the turkey cooks evenly. Roast for about 1 hour, remove the foil and baste the turkey with ½ cup of broth. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more stock as needed.
Start checking internal temperature after about 1 hour by inserting an instant-read thermometer in the inner meatiest part of the thigh, not touching the bone. If legs or breast begin to get too brown, cover loosely with foil. Roast until internal thigh temperature reaches 165 degrees. Total roasting time should be about 3 to 3¾ hours. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
For the Cognac jus: While the turkey is resting, make the jus. Strain the pan drippings (discard the roasted root vegetables or serve alongside the turkey). Deglaze the roasting pan with chicken broth &mdash bring it to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and adding a little liquid as needed to incorporate the browned bits. Add this to the strained drippings. Skim off any fat with a spoon, or refrigerate, then remove and discard the fat that congeals on top.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add the onion, carrots and fennel, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Cognac and cook until reduced by half. Add the 6 cups chicken broth and orange juice. Cook until the jus thickens slightly, then whisk in some of the reserved drippings to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more drippings, salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer the jus a few minutes more then add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Make the dipping jus
- In a medium Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When bubbling, add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned all over, about 6 minutes. Add the onion and cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, and cook until reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Add the broth, bouillon, and thyme. Simmer on low for 1 hour. Season to taste with salt. Add small amounts of water to thin the jus, if necessary. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large pot or bowl, and strain the jus, discarding the solids. Set aside. The jus can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat before serving.
Make the flavor paste
- In a small bowl, stir together the chile powder, mustard, Worcestershire, and soy sauce. Set aside. The paste can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Make the seasoning blend
- In a small bowl, stir together the garlic salt, lemon pepper, black pepper, and cayenne. Set aside. The seasoning blend can be made up to 1 month in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Make the honey-garlic glaze
- In a resealable pint-size jar, combine the vinegar and pepper flakes, and let sit for 2 minutes. Add the honey, apple juice, Worcestershire, and garlic to the jar, and then add the butter. Shake well to combine. Set aside. The glaze can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. If made in advance, warm before using to remelt the butter.
Make the sandwich
- Heat one side of a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to high and the other to low for a mix of direct and indirect cooking.
- Pat the steak dry with paper towels. Coat the steak all over with the flavor paste, and then coat all over with oil. Sprinkle the steak all over with the seasoning blend.
- Put the steak on the grate heated to high. With the lid open, cook the steak, undisturbed, until well marked and lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip the steak, and grill for another 3 minutes. Transfer the steak to the grate heated to low, close the lid, and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°F, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 375°F.
- Shake the glaze, and then brush it all over the steak, reserving some glaze to brush the bread. Continue to brush the steak with the glaze until cooked to your desired doneness, about 5 more minutes for rare, about 6 minutes for medium, and about 8 minutes for well done. Transfer to a cutting board. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices. (Alternatively, cook the steak in the oven. See Tip, below.)
- Cut the baguettes into 5-inch lengths and slice through lengthwise, leaving one side attached so that they open like a book. Lightly toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, then brush the remaining honey-garlic glaze all over the inside of the bread. Divide the steak and caramelized onions among the baguettes. Serve with the warmed dipping jus.
To cook the steak in the oven, position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 425°F. Put the steak on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 300°F, and cook for 10 minutes. Generously brush with the glaze, return to the oven, and cook about 7 minutes for medium rare, brushing with the glaze once or twice more