Instant Pot French Dip Sandwich Recipe is easy to make, is full of flavor, and the leftovers are easily re-heated in au jus for a quick weeknight meal! A perfect dessert to follow-up with would be my Instant Pot Golden Oreo Chocolate Chip Cheesecake.
What is a French Dip Sandwich?
Originating in the United States this hot sandwich is usually served on crusty fresh bread boasting layers of thinly sliced perfectly cooked beef that has been seasoned well.
The story goes that at a Los Angeles deli in 1918 Phillipe Matheiu made a beef sandwich but accidently dropped the bread into the pan drippings but sold the sandwich to a police officer. Apparently, the policeman loved it so much he came back the next day requesting the same sandwich, and the French Dip was born.
The French Dip or Beef Dip as it is sometimes called is topped with sautÃ©ed onions, and Swiss or Provolone cheese then dipped into an au jus gravy made from the cooking broth. What's not to love?!?! If you want to check out more on the history of this classic American sandwich there is a great article all about it on the Greatist website here.
How to make a French Dip Sandwich
Select a 3 ½ - 4 pound piece of beef eye of round roast. That's the one that look like a tenderloin only way bigger! Eye of round is a cheaper and tougher cut of beef that does well using a braising technique which makes this a good choice for this recipe.
To start I prepared a rub for the tenderloin with black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, ground thyme, and salt. I rubbed this all over the meat.
You'll notice that I cut the eye of round roast for the French dip sandwich recipe in half. This is because the whole thing did not fit in Instant Pot 6-quart Duo. It was still just as delicious! Preheat a large pan or turn on the Instant Pot to saute. Add in some olive oil and brown all sides of the eye of round roast then set aside to a plate.
Next, slice the celery, carrot, and half an onion. Once the beef is done searing add a little more olive oil to the pan or Instant Pot. Add the sliced vegetables to the pan, and saute for a few minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic, and saute for a moment until fragrant.
Add some of your favorite red wine to deglaze the pan, scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and reduce at least one third. If wine is not your thing then you can substitute some beef broth at this step and do the same thing. Although, with the beef broth there is no need for a reduction of the liquid.
Next, add the beef broth. Place the rack that came with your Instant Pot into the pot. Return the eye of round roast to the pan. Seal the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes, and follow with a 10 minute natural pressure release.
For an even more tender roast or if it is a little larger than 4 pounds add 5 minutes to the high pressure time, and an additional 5 minutes to the natural pressure release.
While roast is cooking, slice three or four onions then saute in a pan until soft and translucent. I also salt and pepper to taste when I first put them in with a little olive oil. If they get a little caramelized or a little browned this will just add to the depth of flavor of the French dip sandwich.
Once the roast is done, remove to a plate and slice thinly. Turn the Instant Pot to saute, and melt two tablespoons of butter then pepper to taste. Serve immediately on crusty bread, top with onions, and melt cheese with the au jus gravy for dipping.
Tips for a great sandwich
Typically this is served on a crusty French baguette, but for a change of pace I served mine on Cuban bread. I lightly buttered my bread and toasted it a little bit in the oven on broil. Or you could toast in your air fryer for a few minutes.
The cheese is a matter of huge debate in our house! Believe it not, everyone comes down pretty strongly in either the Swiss cheese or Provolone camp. One rogue member of the crew actually put American cheese on their French dip sandwich and fell in love with it. Don't be afraid to try out something new on this classic sandwich.
This can be made ahead of time or the leftovers can be gently reheated in the oven at around 250-degrees for around 30 minutes or warmed in the Instant Pot in the au jus gravy. It's just as delicious the second time around as the first.
Easy Instant Pot French Dip Sandwich Recipe
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground thyme
French Dip Roast
- 3 ½ - 4 pound eye of round roast
- 1 carrot sliced
- 1 celery sliced
- ½ onion sliced
- 2 tbsp garlic minced
- ½ cup red wine beef broth can be substituted for the wine
- 4 cups beef broth unsalted
Onions and Au Jus Gravy
- 4 onions sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp butter unsalted
- Pepper to Taste
- Combine all the ingredients for the rub, and coat the eye round roast with it. If the roast is large it can be cut in half to fit into the Instant Pot.
- Heat a pan or the Instant Pot, and add some olive oil to it. Brown the roast on all sides and remove to a plate. Add the sliced vegetables to the pan, and saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, and reduce by a third. If using broth just deglaze the pan. Add the 4 cups of beef broth. If doing this in a pan pour into the Instant Pot. Add the rack that came with the Instant Pot into the pot. Put the eye of round roast back in. Seal, and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes then follow with a 10 minute natural pressure release. For a more tender roast or if it is slightly larger than 4 pounds add 5 minutes to the high pressure time, and 5 minutes to the natural pressure release.
- While the roast is cooking, slice 4 onions. Saute in olive oil, salt and pepper to taste until soft and translucent.
- Once the roast is done remove from pot, and slice thinly. Put the Instant Pot on saute and add two tablespoons of butter until melted. Pepper the au jus gravy to taste.
- Serve immediately on crusty bread, top with onions, and cheese. Serve with au just gravy for dipping.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to one week in an airtight container.