Balsamic Roast Beef French Dip Sandwich, Arugula Salad & Chips


Balsamic Roast Beef French Dip Sandwiches  |  Arugula Salad with Garlic~Lemon Vinaigrette  |  Kettle Chips

Intro Collage

“It’s 4:58 on Friday afternoon. Do you know where your margarita is?”
― Amy Neftzger

Friday…we made it!  Finland, beach, horse show, football practices, riding lessons~everything accomplished and now we begin to slowly put the week away.  Michael arrived home this afternoon, just in time to surprise the kids at school pick up and football practice.  Maddie is still at the horse show until Sunday when I return to Woodside to pack her and the horses up and trailer everyone home, but let’s not think about that now.  After a week of us all running in five different directions, I want to sit back with a glass of wine and relish in the fact that today we start coming back together.  By the end of the weekend, all five chairs around the table will be occupied for Sunday dinner…a feat I approach with growing appreciation as the children get older and especially this, Madison’s senior year of high school.

Years ago, as newlyweds and working professionals who placed children in the “someday” column of neatly organized lives, Michael and I would meet up with friends and co-workers on Friday evenings and toast the start of the weekend {when weekends involved sleeping in, golf, tennis, dinners in New York or Philadelphia…basically doing whatever we wanted}.  More often than not, our gathering place was The Tap Room in Princeton, NJ, where we lived at the time.  A beer {or two…} would be had while listening to music {performed live by Lovey Williams} and arranging tee times and dinner reservations for the weekend.  It was a time in our lives that I remember fondly but, as I sit with Michael on our deck watching the sailboats out on the bay {glass of wine in hand} and enjoying a moment of peace before football, horses, homework and other errands consume the weekend, I feel immensely grateful for the wonderful chaos in our lives.

Tonight’s sandwich reminds me of something we would have eaten for dinner at The Tap Room on those Friday nights years ago.  Nothing fancy, just comforting pub-style food.  An inexpensive cut of meat {I used a chuck roast} simmers in the slow cooker in a bath of broth, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire and soy sauces, and honey…


Browning the roast in olive oil, along with some garlic and red pepper flakes, before putting into the slow-cooker causes the meat to caramelize in spots and intensifies the flavor…


Four hours later, what emerges from the slow-cooker is extremely moist, fork-tender meat packed with rich flavor.  The meat is easily shredded for sandwiches using two forks…

Roast Beef Collage

Soft subway-style rolls, lightly toasted, work well for these sandwiches and the cooking sauce from the slow-cooker becomes the gravy into which the sandwich is dipped.  Very few components result in a simple, classic sandwich…


Balsamic Roast Beef French Dip Sandwich {adapted from Add a Pinch} Serves 6-8

  • 1, 3-4 pound boneless chuck roast
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pushed through a garlic press
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6-8 sandwich rolls
  1. Season the roast with salt and pepper.  In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering and then add the garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook for about a minute and then add the roast to the pot and brown on all sides.
  2. Place the roast into the insert of your slow cooker. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over roast and set the timer for your slow cooker…4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low.
  3. Once the roast  has cooked, remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish and break the meat apart lightly with two forks.
  4. Pour gravy, made while cooking the meat, from the slow-cooker into a fat separator and then ladle about ¼ – ½ cup of gravy over the shredded meat and then pour some gravy into individual dipping bowls.
  5. Lightly toast sandwich rolls and then pile a generous helping of shredded meat onto the bottoms of the rolls.  Cover the sandwiches with roll tops and serve with gravy on the side for dipping.
  6. Store remaining gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use.

An easy salad of baby arugula tossed in Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette {click here for the recipe}…

Arugula Salad Collage

Along with a few chips, make this a meal perfect for a Friday night.


Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

K Initial

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