The French Dip Panini

February 10th, 2009 by katie

I have a french dip recipe we like a lot-it is quick and easy to make in the evenings and is a staple for us when we need a simple sandwich dinner on the weekly menu.  But the recipe has a few problems that have always bugged me.  First, the sliced roast beef is cooked in the au jus which eliminates the possibility of tender, moist medium-rare meat.  Also, the au jus is made from french onion soup which is why it is a “cheater” recipe, but really how hard is it to make a little spiced up beef broth? Also, I always have trouble with the bread-hoagie rolls sprinkled with garlic powder just always seemed to take away from the flavors rather than add to them.

Recently, I saw this french dip panini on Panini Happy and from the ingredients I knew it would have all the flavors of the recipe we’ve always loved and also solve the problems I have had with it.  It was just as easy and quick and the flavors were so ramped up and delicious-this is the french dip recipe we will use from now on!  I did make a few adjustments to make it more weeknight friendly and the prep time is about 30-40 minutes, but it only takes a few minutes to cook the sandwiches in a panini press and you are ready to eat.

French Dip Panini

makes 3-4 depending on size, prep 40 min, cook time 5 min
  • 1 head garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/2 onions, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp beef base or bouillon ( I used a combination of beef and mushroom base)
  • water
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • thinly sliced french or sourdough bread (ask bakery to slice with their machine-perfect thickness)
  • 1 pound thinly sliced medium rare roast beef
  • 4-6 slices provolone cheese
  1. Start by roasting the head of garlic in the oven at 400°F.  Cut off the top of the garlic to expose the cloves and drizzle with olive oil, place in a small crock or wrap in foil and place in the oven.
  2. While garlic roasts, saute onion rings in a little oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft and brown.
  3. While onions are cooking start au jus in a small pot: saute diced onion and garlic in oil until soft and translucent.
  4. Add beef broth and bouillon, taste.  Add salt as desired, pepper and thyme.  If too salty add small amounts of water to dilute.
  5. Allow to simmer while constructing sandwiches.
  6. Remove garlic from oven when golden brown and soft, allow to cool enough to handle.
  7. Squeeze garlic cloves out of paper and mash on a cutting board, stir into mayonnaise.
  8. When onions are ready, construct sandwiches. Lay out bottom bread slices and spread with garlic mayo.  Top with thick piles of roast beef, then caramelized onions, then layer provolone over all.  Top with bread slice.
  9. Brush outsides of sandwich with olive oil and place in panini press or cook on a griddle.
  10. Sandwiches only take minutes to cook in a panini press (or in our case George Foreman Grill) but there is enough time to drop some sweet potato fries into the deep fryer.
  11. Ladle au jus into small bowls and serve alongside sandwiches cut on the diagonal.
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Posted in Condiments, Main Dish

11 Responses

  1. noble pig

    Wow, slide it over…it’s beautiful! Love, love French Dip.

  2. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    It’s lunchtime and I’m hungry. How cruel!!! LOL

    Looks great!

  3. marguerite

    Mmmmm…. that looks awesome!!!

  4. Melissa

    I just made my second attempt with my new panini maker last night and am looking for more. I agree that the recipe from PH is better for all the reasons you listed – totally stealing this one. Yum!

  5. DD

    Dips, condiments, sauces, chutneys– anytime I can add some kick, I will. And this sandwich is one of my favorites. Drippy soaked bread and tender meat? Mmm.

  6. PaniniKathy

    Glad to have provided a little bit of inspiration! The French Dip is definitely one of my favorites 🙂

  7. Mrs. L

    You’re going to make me go into the garage and hunt through all the boxes to find my sandwich press now aren’t you 🙂 This looks and sounds delish.

  8. sweetbird

    So is there, like, a mini-you that I can buy and take home with me so I can have all these delicious treats too?

  9. MODman

    How can you not like something that comes with an au jus? (Now I must run to the kitchen to make a panini).

  10. Kevin

    That sandwich looks so good! And sweet potato fires!

  11. Starr

    Wow those sandwiches look amazing! I love a good French dip and will put these on the menu for this weekend. I found you in a round about way through Food Buzz. I’ll bookmark this site and be back!
    Question: Where can I find thinly sliced, med-rare, roast beef? (I mean, without making it myself! haha)

    I get it from the deli. -katie

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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