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David's Daily Dish: Slow-cooker roast beef sandwiches are guaranteed to help break the winter blahs (with recipe) It is time to think outside the box when it comes to putting food on the table for your family. It is time to look no further than an old standby recipe that is a summertime favorite but it perfect for winter, too. (File photo)

I have to admit that I m as guilty as the next fellow about occasionally falling victim to built-in food bias.

For instance, I don t often think about serving sandwiches or other traditional warm weather fare this time of year. And with what so far has been a brutal winter here on the upper Gulf Coast I m even less inclined to serve a sandwich as the main meal of the day.

Hearty soups and stews more often than not are on the menu, along with the occasional chicken-and-sausage gumbo or bowl of spicy jambalaya. It just happens this way when weather and other outside concerns dictate what you cook.

But recently, in an effort to come up with ways to shake up my usual winter lineup of food, I made a conscious effort to try and think outside the box. Just the other day, for instance, I offered a tasty shrimp omelet as a way to inject a bit of breakfast into the dinner menu.

Nothing was off the table in my desire to rethink my wintertime menu. And it also helps when I get a call from a diligent and faithful reader who jogged my memory about a recipe that dovetailed right nicely with my little experiment.

Like I said, I usually don t think about serving something as simple as a sandwich for the last meal of the day. But there are times (and this is one of them) when a hearty, hot, juicy sandwich is just what is needed to shake things up.

This is a recipe from the archives and based on the number of requests that I get for it should be elected to the Holloway Recipe Hall of Fame.

It is right up there with my world-famous Hoppin John recipe in the number of reader requests that I get during the year.

I devised it all by myself but I m sure that I didn t invent the process. I ve seen a lot of variations on it since then but I think this one remains one of the best I ve seen.

Oh, and it s perfect for your upcoming Super Bowl party; just put it all in the cooker and go about your business.

Slow Cooker French Dip

10-12 servings


3-4 pound boneless beef roast

1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth

2-3 cups water

1 package dry onion soup mix

1 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

French or other crusty po-boy rolls

Sliced Swiss or provolone cheese


Trim fat from the beef roast and place in the slow cooker. Add broth, water, onion soup mix, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Make sure liquid level comes almost to the top of the meat.

Cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.

After meat is done, remove roast from crock and place on a platter. Cover with foil. Be careful because roast will want to fall apart.

Transfer liquid from the crock to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and adjust seasonings.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take meat and shred or slice it thin, removing any fat that may have lingered after cooking.

Split rolls lengthwise on one side and lay open. Place rolls onto a cookie sheet or baking pan and top with a healthy dollop of the beef. Give them a good soak with warm juices.

Top with a slice or two of cheese and place into oven. Cook 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts and become bubbly.

Dish up au jus into small bowls and serve with the sandwiches for dipping. It's a good idea to have plenty of napkins handy.

Note: For crispier sandwiches, lightly butter and toast the split rolls before topping with beef. And, in a pinch, any cheese will do but Swiss or provolone are traditional for this recipe.

And for a richer juice you can add a tablespoon of commercial beef base or a cube of bouillon. Just be aware that these products are full of sodium so go very lightly on the salt.

If you find the juice is too rich you can cut it with water after the roast is cooked.