French Dip Sandwiches are everywhere, with just about every deli and casual eatery offering a version of this classic and delicious sandwich. But I just had to do them differently! I’ve turned the dial up on my smoker to infuse serious flavor into these French Dip au Jus Sandwiches, and WOW! Are they ever good! Got a smoker? You HAVE to make these smoked French dip sandwiches!
Bite into fresh bread loaded with thin, tender, and juicy slices of perfectly smoked roast beef in this smoked French dip sandwich. But that’s not all! I’ve amped up the flavor even more with a fantastic onion spread that’s made with oodles of garlic and two kinds of onions.
A French dip sandwich isn’t complete without au jus, and this jus is off the charts! It’s got so much flavor in it you’ll be dipping down to the last drops! Are you ready for a sandwich that’s off-the-charts delicious? Let’s get started!
What You Need To Make French Dip Au Jus Sandwiches
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. You’re sure to have most of these in your pantry already and check out the link to get your hands on the Ooomami Umami Powder.
For the onion spread:
- Canola oil – Or any neutral-flavored vegetable oil.
- Onion – Yellow or white.
- Garlic – Fresh, and you’ll need a few heads.
- Scallions – Also known as green onions.
- Sour cream – Full fat works best, but you can trim a few calories with low-fat if you prefer.
- Mayonnaise – Again, full fat is my pick, but low-fat versions will also work.
- White wine vinegar – Cider vinegar will also work.
- Worcestershire sauce – Dig that bottle out of the back of your fridge; you’ll need a few teaspoons!
- GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami powder
For the beef:
- More garlic – Bring on the garlic! You’ll need another whole head of garlic for the beef.
- More Ooomami Umami powder
- Beef – See my tips below.
- Beef broth – Use low or no-sodium added beef broth to control the salt.
For the Au Jus Sauce:
- Butter – Unsalted is my pick.
- All-purpose flour – To thicken the jus.
- More beef broth – Use low or no-sodium added to control the salt.
- Thyme – Fresh is best, or you can use a good pinch of dried.
- Sherry – Don’t drink it all! Save a bit for the jus.
And to build your awesome French dip sandwiches:
- Crusty Italian rolls – You’ll need half a dozen 6-inch rolls, split and lightly toasted. You can also use bakery-fresh crusty bread.
What Kind of Beef to Make French Dip au Jus Sandwiches?
My personal preference for this French dip recipe is to use eye of round. It’s lean, smokes quickly and easily, and has loads of flavor. It’s also cheaper than some other cuts of beef. You could also use:
- Ribeye – It’s more expensive, but oh, the flavor! Smoked ribeye is so good!
- Sirloin – Any sirloin cuts (top, bottom) will smoke and slice nicely.
- New York Strip – You can smoke a roast-sized chunk of NY strip and slice that.
Whatever you pick, make sure that the beef isn’t a tough pot roast cut like chuck roast or rump roast. Those cuts have too much connective tissue, and this isn’t a long smoke – the beef doesn’t smoke long enough to tenderize those cuts.
How To Make French Dip Sandwiches on the Smoker
There are a few steps in this recipe, and the beef needs to marinate in garlic for a while. Start this recipe early in the morning or the night before.
For the Beef:
Slice the top off the head of garlic, exposing the cloves inside. Rub the garlic with oil and pop it into the smoker or a preheated oven at 225 to 250° F degrees until softened.
Squeeze the garlic out of garlic skins and mash with a fork when cool enough to handle. Season with salt and pepper and mix to create a paste. Stir in the Ooomami Umami powder.
Rub the roast liberally with oil, then with the garlic paste. Wrap it in plastic and chill in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat the smoker and prepare it for indirect heat. You want about 225 – 250° F degrees.
Add a pan with 1 cup of broth under the cooking area of the roast to catch any meat drippings.
Smoke the roast until it reaches 120° F, about 1.5 to 2 hours. Add another cup of broth to the pan halfway through the cooking time.
Remove it from the grill, wrap it in foil and let it rest. Save all the drippings in the pan!
To Make the Onion Spread:
Meanwhile, make the onion dip. Start by coating the onions in oil and season them with a pinch of salt. Cut the top off another head of garlic and drizzle it with oil. Add the onion and garlic to an aluminum foil pan and smoke for 35-40 minutes or until tender. Remove the onions and garlic from the smoker and let them cool.
Squeeze the garlic from the papery shells and mince. Finely chop the onions.
Whisk the sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl. Add the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Ooomami powder, and black pepper. Mix well.
Fold in the chopped onion, garlic, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper.
Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This onion spread can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.
To Make Au Jus for French Dip sandwiches:
Place a large cast-iron skillet on the grill over direct heat to heat up, and move it to indirect heat before smoking.
Add the butter and let it melt, then whisk in the flour and mix well. Cook the flour and butter for 1 minute.
Slowly whisk in the broth from the drip pan in a slow stream, whisking as you go to avoid lumps. Add the thyme and bring it to a simmer when all the broth is incorporated.
Let it simmer until reduced by half, at least 15 minutes, then remove it from the heat and whisk in the sherry. Or check out this article on how to make au jus on a stovetop.
To Assemble Your French Dip Sandwiches:
Slice the cooked beef into thin slices.
Brush some of the onion spread on both sides of the toasted roll.
Dip the beef slices into the hot au jus and layer onto the prepared rolls.
Serve your French dips immediately with cups of the au jus broth for dunking.
How to Slice Beef for Smoked French Dip Sandwiches
An electric slicer is the best tool to get paper-thin slices of beef for this French dip au jus recipe. If you don’t have a slicer, here’s how you can get thin slices:
- Wrap the cooled roast in plastic wrap and thoroughly chill it for 4 hours or overnight.
- Place the cold beef on a cutting board, and using a super-sharp knife, slice the roast as thinly as you can.
Alternatively, place the roast in the freezer for 30-40 minutes and then slice it thinly with a sharp knife.
Tips For Making the BEST French Dip Sandwiches
- You can make the onion spread and jus ahead of time and smoke the beef. Then, assemble your sandwiches just before serving.
- Pick crusty, fresh rolls. They’re perfect for absorbing all that delish beef jus.
- Make sure to capture all the beef drippings as it smokes to make the French dip sauce.
Can I Freeze French Dip Sandwiches au Jus?
Yes! Well, you can freeze the meat and the jus. Freeze the rolls separately. Sadly, the onion spread won’t freeze, but it’ll keep a few days in the fridge.
To freeze the beef, freeze the sliced beef IN the jus in an airtight plastic container for up to 3 months.
To reheat it, thaw it in the fridge overnight, then warm it in a pot on the stovetop. Don’t overcook the beef – heat it enough to warm it through – then assemble your beef dip sandwiches.
What To Serve With This French Dip Sandwich Recipe
This is such a hearty and satisfying smoked beef sandwich that you don’t need much else with it. Here are some of my favorite sides to go with dipped beef sandwiches:
- French fries or sweet potato fries
- A leafy salad
- Chips or something crunchy (plus they can scoop up extra onion spread!)
- Pasta salad
Check Out These Other Delicious Smoked Beef Recipes
Smoked French Dip Sandwiches
For the Onion Spread
- 3 tbs canola oil
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 head garlic top removed
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1 cup mayo
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami Powder
- 6 scallions chopped
- ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
For the Beef:
- 1 head garlic
- Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami powder
- 1 tsp neutral cooking oil canola, vegetable, or avocado
- 1 3-to-4 lb beef eye of round roast
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
For the Jus:
- 2 tbs unsalted butter
- 2 tbs all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami powder
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp sherry
- 6 6" inch Italian rolls split and lightly toasted
Prep the Smoker:
- Prep your smoker for 225 to 250° F by building a 2-zone fire for direct and indirect heat.
- Allow the smoker to come to a steady and consistent heat before smoking.
- Add 2 to 3 post oak wood chunks if desired when ready to cook to add more flavor.
Make the Onion Dip:
- Coat the sliced onions in oil and season with a pinch of salt.3 tbs canola oil, 1 onion, 1 tsp Kosher salt
- Drizzle the head of garlic with oil, making sure garlic gets into the cloves.3 tbs canola oil, 1 head garlic
- Add the onion and garlic to an aluminum foil pan and smoke for 35 to 40 minutes, until tender
- Remove from heat and allow to cool until easy to handle.
Chop the Garlic
- Remove the garlic cloves from the head and mince.
- Whisk the sour cream and mayo in a bowl.1 1/2 cups sour cream, 1 cup mayo
- Stir in the white wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, Ooomami powder and black pepper.2 tsp white wine vinegar, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami Powder, ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Fold in the chopped onion, garlic and scallions.6 scallions
- Season with salt to taste.1 tsp Kosher salt
- Store in an airtight container and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
Smoke the Beef:
- Remove the top of the garlic and rub with oil.1 head garlic, Kosher salt, 3 tbs canola oil
- Place in the smoker or in a prehaeted oven to 35 to 45 minutes, until softened (this step can be done while prepping the onion dip).
- Remove the cloves, mash with a fork and season with salt to create a paste like texture. Stir in the Ooomami umami powder.1 tbsp GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami powder
- Rub the eye of round roast liberally with the oil.1 tsp neutral cooking oil, 1 3-to-4 lb beef eye of round roast
- Coat the beef evenly with the garlic paste mixture.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge 4 hours to over night.
- When ready to cook, prep the smoker for indirect heat, for about 225 to 250° F degrees.
- Add a pan with 1 cup broth under your cooking area for the eye of round roast to create a moist environment and to catch any of the garlic rub that falls off.2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- Smoke the roast untl it reaches 120° F, about 1 ½ to 2 hours, adding 1 more cup of broth to the drip pan halfway through cooking.
- Remove from the grill, wrap in foil and rest.
- Carefully remove the pan with the drippings.
Make the au Jus:
- Place a large cast iron skillet on the grill over direct heat to get the pan warm.
- Move to indirect heat just before it’s smoking.
- Stir in the butter and flour. Allow to cook 1 minute.2 tbs unsalted butter, 2 tbs all-purpose flour
- Whisk in the Ooomami umami powder.1 tsp GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami powder
- Carefully whisk in the broth from the drip pan, a little at a time to avoid clumps, forming a roux.2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- Whisk in all of the remaining broth from the pan and the additional.2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- Add the thyme and bring to a simmer.1 tsp fresh thyme
- Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce by half.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the sherry.1 tbsp sherry
Slice to Serve:
- Slice the beef into thin deli sized slices.
- Only slice as much as you will need to prevent the leftover meat from drying out.
Assemble the sandwiches:
- While the grill is still hot, toast the buns. The toasted bread holds the au Jus liquid better.6 6" inch Italian rolls
- Brush a hearty dollop on onion spread on either side of the roll.
- Dunk slices of the beef into the hot au jus and layer onto the prepared rolls.
- Serve immediately with additional cups of au jus for dipping.