When leaves start to change, my dinner menu changes, too. One of the first dishes I make every year is French dip. Everyone in my family loves it, and since I cook the beef in the slow cooker, it's a great meal for night’s when we have fall sports.

Last night one of my boys had batting practice until 6:30, and when he got home, it only took me a few minutes to throw the sandwiches together. Several years ago, I modified the Easy Slow Cooker French Dip recipe from Allrecipes.com, and its been a staple in my house ever since.


  • 4 lbs. beef roast (preferably from an organic or free-range, antibiotic-free source)
  • 10.5 oz. of beef broth (I use Wegman’s store-brand organic broth or Pacific Foods organic)
  • 10.5 oz. of condensed French onion soup
  • 12 oz. dark beer
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 6 crusty sandwich rolls
  • Swiss cheese slices


  1. Cut any excess fat off the roast and put it in the slow cooker. Add broth, soup, beer and soy sauce to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-7 hours, until the beef is cooked through but still firm. You don't want to it to fall apart or be shreddable. You want it to be firm enough to slice.
  2. When the beef is cooked, slice it against the grain to desired thickness, and put it back into the slow cooker with the juices.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice rolls and top with Swiss cheese. Toast in the oven until the rolls are crispy and the cheese is melted.
  4. Place the meat on the rolls and serve with the juices on the side for dipping.


  • This usually makes enough beef for a second meal, and the leftovers freeze really well.
  • I used to make this with whatever beer we had on hand, and it works with most beers, but my family agrees that when I use a stout, it turns out the best.
  • If you don't usually keep beer around the house and you don't want to buy an entire six-pack just for one can or bottle, check to see if your liquor store sells single bottles. Many do.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Slow cooker French dip sandwiches, perfect for cooler weather
Pull out the slow cooker for this easy, family-pleasing meal that makes enough to freeze for a second dinner.