Slow cooker French dip is an easy approach to a weeknight dinner made with flank steak and caramelized onions in a slow cooker or Crock Pot. Folks will be declaring it the best.
Slow Cooker French Dip
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 8 H
- Serves 6 to 8
Special Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker
In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, and garlic until a paste forms. Rub the paste onto both sides of the steak, using all the mixture. Place the onion slices in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker and top with the steak. It’ll probably be necessary to cut the steak into chunks to fit the slow cooker. Pour in the beer and soy sauce and add the bay leaf and thyme. Cover and cook on LOW until the steak is tender, 7 to 8 hours. The steak steak will be more sliceable around 7 hours and more falling apart around 8 hours.
Transfer the steak and onions to a platter, reserving the cooking liquid in the slow cooker. Cover the steak and onions with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Strain the reserved cooking liquid into a large liquid measuring cup, discarding the solids. Note how much cooking liquid you have. Transfer it to a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. If you have less than 2 cups liquid, immediately remove the pan from the heat. If you have more than 2 cups of liquid, simmer until the liquid reduces to about 2 cups and then remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water.
Slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan off the heat and whisk until blended. Return the pan to medium-high and simmer, stirring often, until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Taste and, if desired, adjust the salt and pepper accordingly.
Using a couple forks, shred the steak.
Divvy the shredded steak and onions among the toasted rolls. If desired, top with pickled red onion. Pour the sauce, or jus, into dipping bowls and serve on the side with the sandwiches.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Slow cooker meals certainly can’t be easier and this one has made the top of my list for convenient and super tasty dinners! The onions caramelized and cooked down until they were meltingly jammy and the rich beefy sauce had such a wonderful umami flavor that infused the beef and onions so perfectly. I love the beefy flavor of flank steak but would never have guessed it could transform itself into having such a juicy and tender texture.
I cooked the steak on the low setting for 8 hours and the steak was falling apart into shreds. I only ended up with about 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid so I opted not to reduce the liquids down further, and just got the sauce to boil in a saucepan, added the cornstarch slurry, and let it simmer for a minute to thicken up. Done!
Then I buttered and toasted some deli hoagie rolls in a skillet and served the shredded beef, onions, and sauce on the rolls along with a side arugula salad with a bracing vinaigrette and dinner was fabulous!!!
This dinner will be making repeat performances. I’ll add 2 onions the next time because they cook down so much. You can never have enough silky caramelized onions on a juicy shredded beef sandwich. So good!!!
This was a delicious and easy meal, perfect for a day when there’s not much time for cooking. The slow cooker makes all this possible. It's perfect for a cold winter evening meal or for a summer dinner on the deck.
On some of the sandwiches, I melted some provolone cheese on top—because everything is better with cheese!