I have a bold proclamation to make today: these sandwiches just might be my favorite of ALL TIME.
I have always loved French dip sandwiches. There is a place on the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ that makes some of the best roast beef sammies out there (in my opinion). It’s called Snow White’s. I MUST go there if I am ever in the vicinity of the boardwalk. This says a lot given the vast food options on that boardwalk (pizza, fudge, ice cream, and Polish water ice are my other top picks).
When I’m unable to get my hands on Snow White’s grub (like many other boardwalk establishments, they are only open in the summer), I make these sandwiches at home. They totally hit the spot. There’s something so incredibly yummy about beef soaked in its own rich juices, smothered with melted cheese, and then sandwiched between two pieces of crusty bread. Sounds like a no-brainer, huh? It is.
I am one of those people who likes my roast beef sandwiches BATHED in au jus. The au jus is the best part! If I’m out at a restaurant and they give me one of those teeny-tiny dishes of au jus like it’s some sort of afterthought, I request one three times that size. Yes, I’m THAT girl.
I served these at a party this past weekend, and I made the mistake of forgetting to tell people about the mini crockpot of au jus set out right next to platter of sandwiches. People were eating them dry for the first couple hours. I was confused as to why the platter was still mostly full halfway through the night. I had expected these babies to go like hot cakes!
That’s when I noticed that the crock of au jus was still full! Once people were alerted to the heinous crime they were unintentionally committing (which was really my fault), the au jus disappeared in MINUTES..and all you could hear after that was slurping and happy-OMG-this-is-so-good-moaning noises. Hah. Sounds gross, doesn’t it? It was totally justified though! People were INHALING those sandwiches, man.
They are THAT good.
The roast beef is SO simple but the flavors turn out to be very complex. The aioli is sharp and creamy. The cheese and bread tie it all together. And the au jus just…makes it.
It says a lot when a platter of 30+ sandwiches was demolished in minutes.
Make these ASAP. They need to be a part of your life.
Oh, and by the way, the aioli is super easy to whip up. Instead of using the standard method of whipping the ingredients together by hand (for what seems like forever) until emulsified, I use a stick blender to pull it all together. Read the instructions carefully below to ensure that this method works for you. You’ll never whip an aioli by hand again. Kiss that bigger-than-the-other bicep buh-bye!
French Dip Sliders with Garlic Aioli & Au Jus
(makes enough for 40 sliders or 10-12 larger sandwiches)
For the Meat:
1 (3-lb) boneless beef rump roast
Dried Italian seasoning
For the Au Jus:
2 large onions, halved and sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry sherry
1 packet French onion soup mix
4 cups beef stock
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
For the Aioli:
2 egg yolks, at room temperature (IMPORTANT – if they are too cold, the aioli will never thicken)
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or pressed
Juice of 1 lemon
¾ cup canola oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
40 mini deli rolls or slider buns, split in half
Thinly sliced provolone cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Liberally season the beef all over with the dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Place the beef on a rack in a roasting pan fat side up. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the fat has started to render and crisp. Lower the oven temperature to 225°F and cook for another 1½ to 2 hours, or until a meat thermometer reads 130°F. It will continue to cook slightly out of the oven. Allow the roast to rest for at least 20 minutes, covered with tin foil, before carving.
2. Drain off most of the drippings from the roasting pan and then place on the stovetop. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions to the drippings and cook, stirring often, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and scrape all the brown bits up off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the soup mix, stock, water, sugar, and Worcestershire, and season with black pepper. Do not salt the sauce at this point because the beef was liberally salted and the sauce ingredients have some salt in them. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as needed. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and keep warm.
4. Slice the rested beef very, very thinly.
5. For the Aioli: Place the egg yolks in a medium measuring cup. Add the garlic and lemon juice. Whisk together with a fork. Then, slowly pour the oil on top of the yolk mixture. The oil should look separated from the other ingredients. Insert the stick blender into the cup and push all the way down to the bottom. Turn on the blender and VERY SLOWLY bring the blender up to the top; the mixture will thicken as you go. Move the blender up and down through the mixture a couple times. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Keep covered and cold until ready to use.
6. To build the sandwiches, spread the aioli generously one half of the split rolls. Dip the sliced beef into the au jus and then place on the rolls. Top with cheese and other half of the roll and place on a baking sheet. Finish assembling the other sandwiches and then cover the entire baking sheet with tin foil. Place in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes just so the cheese can melt. Serve immediately with extra au jus on the side.