Mandy's Marvelous Meals

Recipes, tips, tricks, and my journey into cooking fabulous food!

Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches


 

There is nothing like the smell of something wonderful cooking in the crockpot all day. There is also nothing like throwing some meat and ingredients into the crockpot and coming home to a cooked meal.

French Dip is probably one of my favorite foods to order at a diner. Since I’m trying to cut back on eating out I decided to try it at home. This recipe is great for cheap cuts of beef since it cooks all day. The meat comes out extremely tender and super flavorful. I picked up some round eye steak since a whole roast was a little too much for just me and Hubby (although I could’ve bought a small roast and cut it down, but quite frankly I didn’t feel like going through all that work of slicing it and freezing it into smaller portions). I used two steaks which weighed a total of just about 2 lbs. but I didn’t change any of the amounts of the ingredients for the rest of the recipe.  Make sure you use low-sodium soy sauce or your meat and juice will be way too salty. To me, Crockpot meals are all about being quick and convenient so I just used dried herbs and spices but you could always substitute fresh since fresh is always better; just remember that you will need to increase the amount (rule of thumb: use three times the amount of fresh for dried). You can slice the meat thin or shred it. I prefer to shred it…there’s no particular reason for this, I just like it that way. Use “Mandy’s Marvelous Sandwich Rolls”, cutting in half and adding some garlic butter to each side and toasting before adding the meat.

 

French Dip Sandwiches in the Crockpot (Makes 12 servings)

1 4 lb. boneless beef roast

½ cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 cup beef stock or low-sodium beef broth

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. garlic powder

12 Sandwich Rolls

12 slices provolone cheese (optional)

 

  1. Trim beef of all visible fat and place in Crockpot.
  2. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, beef stock, bay leaf, black pepper, rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder.
  3. Pour mixture over beef and cook on Low Heat for 8-10 hours (cook longer for thicker cuts of meat).  If desired, in the last hour of cooking, take out the meat, shred and return to Crockpot to allow flavors to soak through.
  4. Remove meat from broth and reserve broth for dipping.
  5. Distribute meat on rolls and top with cheese, if desired. Serve with small individual dishes of broth for dipping.
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Fear of Baking Bread & Sandwich Roll Recipe


For some reason I always had this idea in my head that it was extremely difficult to make bread or rolls from scratch. Even though there is nothing better than homemade bread and rolls I stayed away from making them.

Then one day I planned to make sandwiches for dinner, but forgot to pick up some rolls. I guess I can thank my laziness for sending me on to the internet to look at some recipes for homemade sandwich rolls. There was no way I was getting back in the car and driving a whopping 2 minutes down the street to go to the store yet again. Somehow my warped mind thought driving back to the store would be much worse than the grueling task of making rolls from scratch. The fear was there that this may not be something I should get into, but I gave it a shot….and to my surprise it was pretty easy. Since then, I’ve tried all kinds of breads: sourdough, Italian, white bread, whole wheat, French bread, dinner rolls, garlic bread, etc. And each time I make them I am always impressed that it wasn’t too difficult to make and that they turned out really good!

This past weekend, while eating lunch at my mom’s house, I brought some of these yummy rolls for our sandwiches. I said to her, “how come you never told me it was so easy to make bread?” She just laughed and proceeded to tell me a story of how my Grandmother used to make such large batches of bread, my Grandfather would have to come and punch the dough down because it was too much for the women in the kitchen. Well, lucky for me I only cook for two people and I own a Kitchenaid Mixer! Which does all the kneading for you so this makes it even easier. But don’t worry even if you have to knead the dough by yourself (or maybe if you have some kids put them to work) it is not bad…I have done it before and lived to tell about it! (Of course, that was before I actually understood how all the features on my Kitchenaid worked :))

So what is the moral to this story? If you are like I used to be and think that it’s difficult to make bread or rolls….you should get over it and try it for yourself. You’ll never want to buy rolls or bread from the store or a bakery again!

Mandy’s Marvelous Sandwich Rolls

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)

1 packet active dry yeast

2 tbsp. white sugar

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. salt

4 1/2 cups flour

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy 5-10 minutes.
  2. To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt and 2 cups of flour and combine until a dough forms.
  3. Stir in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Knead the dough. Using the dough hook of your mixer, knead for about 6 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If kneading by hand, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 8 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  5. Lightly oil a large bowl and add the dough, turning to coat all sides with the oil.
  6. Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm dark place and allow dough to rise for about 1 hour.
  7. After the dough has risen, deflate it by gently punching it down in the bowl.
  8. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and separate into 12 pieces, forming them into round balls.
  9. Place dough balls on a non-stick baking sheet at least two inches apart and cover with a damp cloth. Place in a warm dark place and allow to rise for about 40 more minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  11. After second rising, bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 14-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

A Few Tips & Suggestions:

  • If you divide the dough into 16 rounds, the Weight Watchers Points Plus will be 4. You’ll have a smaller roll, but this is more of an appropriate portion size.
  • If you do not want to make all 12 or 16 rolls at once, after the first rising, only make the amount you need and freeze the remaining dough. When you are ready to use the rest of dough thaw it and allow to rise for about 45 minutes and follow original baking instructions. It is best to freeze dough before the second rising.
  • You can also divide the roll into 24 balls and use as buns for “Sliders” or use just as a dinner roll.
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