Those who know me, know that I’m a sucker for a few things:
A “new” trendy diet
I mean, most of them aren’t new by any stretch… so maybe let’s call them repackaged diets. But as long as it’s trendy and getting press, I’m gonna juice whatever refuse I can find on my back patio for the sake of checking some dumb box. I mean, whether it’s eating only orange foods (Ranch is okay as long as it’s stuck to a carrot, right?), shunning meat (just kidding – I’d never), “eating” things only if they can be sucked through a straw, or eating only things that were available before the creation of spoken language… I’ll give anything a try once. Just for the heck of it.
I live in Katy, Texas, where the “need” for scarves is maybe 10 out of 365 days in a “cold” year. I have more than 10 scarves.
Modern technology (aka BUY ALL OF THE GADGETS!!)
And that’s where these sandwiches come in. My friend Brandi bought an Instant Pot – it’s an electric pressure cooker that does a bunch of other things, too. The very next day, I showed up on her doorstep with a 4lb pork roast, a Dr Pepper, a bottle of Gatlin’s barbecue sauce, and a package of Hawaiian rolls.
We seared the roast right in the pot (a dream of mine!), set it to Pressure for 90 minutes, and by the time we had made a dent in the cheese plate and a couple of bottles of wine, it was dinner time. Dinner that tasted like it had cooked for 8-10 hours. I was sold. Sooooo sold. Like, ordered-one-for-myself-sitting-right-there-on-her-couch-eating-a-pulled-pork-slider, sold.
And now that my shiny new pressure cooker is here, I decided to give it an inaugural spin on one of my (and your) all-time favorite slow cooker recipes: French Dip Sandwiches.
In the slow cooker, we’re talking 6 hours minimum. In the Instant Pot? 10 minutes of prep, 40 minutes of cooking at pressure, 15-20 minutes of resting, and another 10-15 minutes to shred the meat and build sandwiches.
Pressure Cooker French Dip Sandwiches au Jus
Pressure-cooked French Dip Sandwiches au Jus - the same slow-cooker tenderness in a fraction of the time.
- 4 lb boneless chuck roast
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 3/4 cup beef or chicken stock (chicken is usually all I ever have in the freezer)
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce (optional, but I'm obsessed)
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp creole (or other spicy brown) mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 8 sandwich rolls, split
- 8 slices of cheese
- Cut the roast in half and liberally salt and pepper the top and bottom sides.
- Set the pot to Saute and heat 1 Tbsp oil.
- Sear 1 piece of roast at a time, ~3 minutes on each side. Move to a plate when done.
- Add the sliced onions and the garlic and cook until softened.
- Turn the pot off.
- Add the two halves of the roast on top of the onions.
- Stir together the stock, soy sauce, fish sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, and creole mustard.
- Pour over the roast, lock the lid in place, and set the vent to Seal (not Vent).
- Set the pot to High Pressure for 45 minutes.
- After the pot beeps to let you know the cooking cycle is done, it will take another 15-20 minutes to "naturally" release the pressure (the cylinder next to the vent will drop, indicating that it is done).
- Shred the meat and build the sandwiches.
- Strain the liquid and discard as much of the fat as possible (I have a "gravy defatter" that works pretty well - leftovers are even easier because the fat will solidify on the top and you can just scoop it off the next day).
- Serve a small bowl of the drippings on the side of your sandwiches.
Yields: 8 servings
Estimated time: 1 hour 20 minutes