As with many American foods that have the word ‘French’ in the name, the French Dip sandwich has nothing to do with France at all. Actually, it was most likely created by a Frenchman in Los Angeles.
Because this is America and we don’t need those Frenchies taking our food from us, we have named our sandwich the Freedom Dip Sandwich. Just like Freedom Fries, Freedom Toast, and Freedom dressing, this new and improved sandwich will let the rest of the world know who is boss.
Actually, the exact origin of the sandwich isn’t certain. According to this LA times article there are two LA restaurants that claim credit for creation of the sandwich. There has also been ongoing controversy over how the sandwich was created. Was it to freshen up a stale, hard roll or was it the brainchild of a customer who didn’t want to see the juice in the roast pan go to waste? Or was it simply the accident of a clumsy server who dropped the sandwich into the beef au jus and liked the result? This is one of those weighty questions that we may never know the answer to.
For our Freedom Dip sandwich we roasted the beef and served it on a crusty Asiago cheese baguette with caramelized onions and plenty of horseradish and mustard. We used the juices from the roasted meat to make a flavorful savory dipping sauce for the sandwich. Nathan told me that a French Dip sandwich isn’t good unless there is enough horseradish and mustard to make you cry and I took this statement to heart…I think I can still feel the horseradish in my nose!
The French Dip sandwich and this red wine are a match made in heaven. The Cardinal Zin is a light but flavorful wine that complemented and magnified the bold spiciness of the sandwich. It has notes of blackberry and plum that cooled the tongue after a big bite of straight horseradish and it presented a fruity tartness that was a welcome contrast. This wine was good when drunk by itself as well…a solid choice overall!
Brought to you by the same brewery that makes Dale’s Pale Ale (that beer in a can), this pilsner is deceptively light with an alcoholic content of 5.3%. Brewed here in the good ol’ U S of A, the Yella Pils was a great choice to wash down the rich flavors of beef, au jus, copious amounts of horseradish, and spicy mustard. While the light flavors of the beer relieved the nostril stinging heat of the horseradish, the light hoppiness also enhanced the flavors. Like most that I’ve tried, this pilsner lacked body and flavor for my taste but it still matched really well with our freedom dip sandwich!
(P.S. – we are only kidding about the Francophobia!)
Freedom Dip Sandwich:
1-1 1/2 lb. beef rib eye, sirloin, or tenderloin roast
8 cloves of garlic, 6 whole and 2 minced
Olive oil, to taste
Mustard Seed, to taste
salt and pepper
Start with the roast at room temperature (remove from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking – keep it wrapped). Preheat the oven to 375°F.
With a sharp knife make 6 small incisions in the roast. Place a clove of garlic into each incision. Take a tablespoon or so of olive oil and spread over the roast. Rub the roast with mustard seeds, salt and pepper. Place the roast directly on an oven rack, fatty side up, with a drip pan on a rack beneath the roasting rack.
Brown the roast at 375°F for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 300°F. When the roast just starts to drip its juices and it is brown on the outside, check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Pull the roast from the oven when the inside temperature of the roast is 135° to 140°F. Let the roast rest for at least 15 minutes. Remove garlic cloves before slicing.
1 cup of Beef Stock
¼ cup red wine
salt and pepper
Remove cooked roast from the roasting pan and set it aside. Place the roasting pan over medium heat and add beef stock and red wine. Bring the liquid to a boil and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove and dissolve all the roasting particles. Season with salt and pepper and pour into small bowls for dipping.
For Caramelized onion:
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp. butter
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet until butter is melted. Add onions and cook, stirring constantly, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, around 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Crusty French bread
Good French mustard
Asiago cheese (or any cheese you like)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Slice the bread into sandwich sized pieces, sprinkle cheese over the top, and put in the oven on aluminum foil until cheese has melted. Take the bread out of the oven and slice long ways. Spread mustard and horseradish on both slices of bread and layer thinly sliced beef on one side. Garnish with lettuce and tomato if desired and place other side of bread on top.
Dip in Au Jus and enjoy!