Oui-Oui!

I have a love affair with Nordstrom Cafe’s French Dip sandwich!  I’ve had several others and none really compare.  Nordstrom Cafe’s has a delicious garlic aioli and the beef is tender and flavorful…mmmmm!  I got an email from allrecipes.com with a recipe for Easy Slow Cooker French Dip and I figured, “sure, why not?”  The reviews were great and plentiful with many suggested variations on the original recipe.

Feel free to check out the original recipe but I highly recommend that you follow mine (or something close to it).  Unfortunately, when I deviate from a recipe, I kind of just throw things in and don’t measure but I will try to approximate 🙂  The result was tasty but I still need to play around with it…it could have been better.  For one, I did not pay attention to the fact that the recipe called for the beef to be in the slow cooker on low for 7 hours…I didn’t have 7 hours so I did mine on high for about 4 hours.  I am not sure if the meat would have been more tender if I had done low for 7 hours or if I had used the exact cut of meat called for or if I were a deli with a big meat slicer that could have sliced the meat thinner than I could with my largest and sharpest chef’s knife.

I don’t want to share only complete successes with you.  There are plenty of us out there that try a recipe and fail.  Well, I wouldn’t call this a fail but it did not meet my high expectations.  The au jus could have been saltier (maybe I shouldn’t have used fat-free, low-salt beef broth) and I could have melted a bit more provolone over the top when assembling the sandwich.  I bet this recipe would benefit from seasoning the meat liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder and then searing in a pan before placing in the slow cooker.  The true saving grace was the garlic aioli I made…follow this recipe exactly!

O.K., so let’s get to the recipes!

Easy Slow Cooker French Dip (adapted from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds rump roast (I used a 3 pound eye of round beef roast)
  • 1 Tbs. garlic powder (more or less to taste)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion soup
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle dark beer
  • Several shakes of worcestershire sauce
  • French rolls (I just cut up a long baguette)
  • Provolone cheese (optional)
  • Garlic aioli (optional, recipe below)

Directions

  1. Trim excess fat from the rump roast, and place in a slow cooker*. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder to-taste. Add the beef broth, onion soup, worcestershire sauce and beer. Cook on Low setting for 6.5 hours. Remove the roast, cover with foil and let rest 10-15 min. Slice the meat across the grain and return to the slow cooker for an additional 30 min.
  2. Split French rolls and place the meat and provolone on one side and place under broiler until cheese is melted. Spread the garlic aioli on the other half of the roll.
  3.  Put the sandwich together and serve with the au jus for dipping.

*I would recommend seasoning the roast liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder and searing in a pan before placing in slow cooker.

Garlic Aioli (from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (I just used my garlic press)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
 Directions
  1. Mix mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes* before serving.
*It is very important to let the aioli sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 min. so the flavors can come together and the tartness of the lemon juice can blend in and lose some of it’s bite.

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“Hon, Did You Get Take-Out?”

Nope!  It’s Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef.  As promised nearly a week ago, I want to share a recipe from Saucy Mommy…a very delicious, simple recipe!  I’ve already made this dish twice and I have the ingredients to make it again soon.  I could eat this a LOT and the leftovers are just as wonderful 🙂

I’ve attempted to make Chinese food at home a couple times in the past but often the results aren’t that great.  I have a pan very similar to a wok and the fast-paced cooking at a high temp just stresses me out and the meat always ends up dry or tough…not an issue with this dish!  This yummy meal is prepared in your slow cooker (loving my new slow cooker) so there is no stress involved and the meat comes out so tender.  I really enjoyed it over brown rice spaghetti but you can find noodles in the Asian aisle at your supermarket or serve it over rice…or just eat it right out of the slow cooker 😉

If you get a chance, you should really head on over to Saucy Mommy.  She has great recipes and, if you have kids, there are a lot of lunch ideas to get you out of those lunchbox ruts 🙂

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound flank steak, cut into bite-size strips (I have also used skirt steak – both are delicious but I enjoy the texture of the flank steak a bit more)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3-5 large green onions, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces*
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root**
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce

*The recipe calls for 3 but I like a bit more in mine because I don’t garnish the dish with the green onions after it is done but you can.

**I don’t love ginger or dealing with ginger.  The first time I made it, I didn’t use it and it was delicious.  The second time I made it, I used it…and it was delicious 🙂  This one is totally up to you.

Instructions:

Place flank steak and cornstarch into a resealable plastic bag. Shake the bag to evenly coat the flank steak with the cornstarch. Allow to steak rest for 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir steak until evenly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Place onion, garlic, flank steak, green onions, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, ginger, and hoisin sauce in a slow cooker.

Cook on low setting for about 4 hours. When it’s done, ladle over noodles or rice.  I serve mine with a side of broccoli, too.

 

Mongolian Beef over brown rice spaghetti...and now I'm hungry!