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These Instant Pot French Dip sandwiches are loaded with tender, juicy, shredded beef that cooks in just about 90 minutes from start to finish! This one will quickly earn a spot in your monthly family dinner rotation!
You'll Love These
- These sandwiches are amazing. Seriously - the beef just falls apart it's so tender and juicy. And the instant pot does all the work for you in a relatively short amount of time! Start dinner around 4pm and you'll be eating by 530-6! And do you know what else you can do in that time? Throw together the most perfect Baked Fries ever to serve alongside these shredded beef sandwiches.
- If you're new to the instant pot, this is a simple, easy recipe that would be great for your first try! You get some practice using the sauté function, you can test out the manual setting AND get to see how the natural release work - which, spoiler alert, is pretty underwhelming! The steam just slowly escapes. But it's great for keeping the meat juicy! If you're ready to try more instant pot recipes be sure to check out my Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Tacos or Instant Pot Vegan Curry!
- If you don’t have an instant pot, fear not! You can use a slow cooker instead! I would recommend still searing the roast in oil and sautéing the onion and garlic in a pot on the stove. But other than that, the process is pretty much the same. Add the seared roast, sautéed onion and garlic, broth, Worcestershire, thyme, oregano, and salt and pepper to a crockpot and set on high for 4-6 hours (or on low for 8-10 hours) or until the beef shreds easily.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Olive Oil — I like a good olive oil, but we’re just searing the roast, here, not eating the oil raw, so you can use your favorite cooking oil or whatever you have on-hand.
- Chuck Roast — You can use a chuck roast or a rump roast for a good French dip. Basically, you want a good hunk of beef with white marbling throughout. Bone in or boneless will work well!
- Yellow Onion — Yellow onions add a nice sweetness, but white onions will add a similar flavor if that’s all you have on hand.
- Garlic — We’re not mincing garlic, here, just smashing it to release some flavor. If you tend to substitute pre-minced garlic, that’s fine, but the ½ teaspoon-to-one-clove is going to be too strong. Instead of three teaspoons (because six cloves), go with two teaspoons.
- Beef Broth — Remember that broth is essentially flavored water that just adds flavor to a recipe where water would … well, water it down. If you don’t have beef broth (or just don’t have enough) you can substitute with another kind (veggie would be best here). Warning: There are other options (red wine, beer, soy sauce, etc.) if you Google “beef broth substitute,” but those are generally for replacing a smaller amount of broth. Don’t pour 32 ounces of soy sauce into your instant pot French dip if you forgot to get beef broth!
- Worcestershire Sauce — Worcestershire has a pretty distinct flavor, but if you’re out you can mix in ¼ cup of soy sauce instead.
- Thyme and Oregano — These flavors are very distinct, but they’re also related. Dried oregano is often recommended as a good substitute for dried thyme. If you’re out of one you can just double the other. Marjoram is also a decent substitute for either.
Heat oil in the instant pot set to the sauté function. Season roast on all sides with salt and pepper.
Sear roast, cooking for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until a dark golden brown crust forms on all sides. Set roast aside.
Keeping the instant pot on the saute function, add onion and garlic along with a large pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add a splash of beef broth to the pot and deglaze the pan, scraping all the yummy bits off the bottom.
Add beef roast back to the instant pot.
Add beef broth, Worcestershire, thyme, oregano and a couple large pinches of salt and pepper to the instant pot.
Seal the instant pot and pressure cook for 75 minutes using the manual setting. Let the instant pot naturally release. Shred beef with two forks.
Fill sliced French baguette with shredded beef and provolone cheese, then broil and enjoy!
Strain cooking liquid from the instant pot and serve with French dip sandwiches. Drizzle sandwiches with horseradish sauce and garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
- Don't skip the sear! The sear is really going to add another layer of flavor to the meat and help it to lock in all the juices and keep it moist. It's so convenient that the instant pot has the sauté function built right in so instead of dirtying another dish and firing up the stove, you can sauté the roast right in the instant pot! Trust me, it's worth the extra few minutes.
- It can be tempting to just use the quick release setting when you're finished cooking the beef. I urge you not to, however! The natural release setting is going to slowly allow the pressure to reduce and the steam to escape. This will ensure that the meat stays tender and juicy and doesn't dry out. The quick release setting is going to allow the steam to escape quickly and along with the steam will go all of the juices leaving you with a dried out roast!
- You can also cook a larger roast - say 3-4 pounds - using this recipe too! You'll just need to increase the pressure cooking time. I'd recommend for a 3-4 pound roast cooking for 90 minutes and then testing to see if it's tender. If it's not, just seal it up again and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
A traditional French dip sandwich is made with thin slices of hot beef and provolone cheese, toasted inside a baguette and dipped in the pan sauce. This instant pot French dip recipe makes it even easier for you to enjoy a tender, juicy, shredded beef sandwich!
Some great sides to serve with a French dip sandwich include baked fries or potatoes wedges, any of your favorite pasta salads, crispy coleslaw, or traditional potato chips!
It's surprisingly easy to make a delicious French dip from scratch! You can cook the beef roast in the slow cooker or instant pot, assemble your shredded beef sandwich and broil. French dips are one of the easiest hot sandwiches to make!
The sauce served with a French dip sandwich is called "au jus". It's a pan sauce that cooks with the beef. Au jus is a French culinary expression that means "with juice". Many French dip sandwiches are served dipped in the au jus, but I prefer to serve it on the side so the sandwich doesn't get soggy!
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