French Dip Au Jus is a classic sandwich normally made with beef. This is a twist on the classic that has melted Gruyere and spinach in addition to tender turkey served with a delicious onion dipping sauce.
Although the recipe starts by cooking a turkey breast in a slow cooker, I'm publishing this post now because many of you probably have leftover turkey in your refrigerator at the moment. This is a great way to use some of the turkey - just buy and prepare a packet of french onion soup as the dipping sauce. Or make it even easier by buying a container of french onion soup at a local soup and salad bar. I love turkey enough that I make this any time of the year and the slow cooker method ensures the turkey is moist and tender every time. (Another recipe idea for leftover turkey: Wild Rice Salad )
As with many classic recipes, it's the combination of flavors and textures that makes a French Dip great - crisp french roll, rich meat, and flavorful dipping sauce that infuses everything with onion flavor. This version is just that much better with the cheese and spinach. Cheese makes pretty much anything better in my opinion. The baguette is briefly toasted under the broiler to melt the cheese, which also makes the bread nice and crisp. You could also certainly make this recipe by substituting leftover thin sliced roast beef or pork.
For those of you who didn't take high school French, you might not know that "au jus" actually means with juices. Don't ask me why the name French Dip au Jus is half English and half French. I decided to simplify and leave the au jus part off altogether.
Not only did I take French for a few years in high school, I took two ill-fated semesters of Russian in college (the second semester is the only class I've ever actually dropped out of) and a couple years of Spanish to complete my college language requirement. All I remember as a sum total of all those years is Si, Da, Nyet, Oui, and Au Jus. Augh.
click here for a printable recipe
Turkey and Gruyere French DipServes 6
Note: if using leftover roast turkey, just purchase French onion soup as the dipping sauce.
For the turkey:3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (3-pound) bone-in turkey breast
For the sandwiches:6 individual (demi) French baguettes, sliced in half lengthwise
2-3 cups fresh baby spinach
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
12 slices Gruyere cheese
For the turkey: in a small mixing bowl, mix together the softened butter and fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Spread the chopped onions over the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour the chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce into the slow cooker. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper, then slather it with herb butter, spreading half under the skin. Place the turkey on top of the onions, breast side up. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours, checking the temperature after 4 hours. Once the internal temperature reaches 170d, remove the turkey from the slow cooker, transfer to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before removing the skin and slicing thinly.
Remove the juices and onions from the slow cooker and keep warm as a dipping sauce.
For the sandwiches: preheat the broiler. Brush each cut side of the baguettes with softened butter and place on a baking sheet, buttered side up. Top one side of each baguette with 2 cheese slices. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and place a layer of spinach and turkey on the other half of each baguette. Close the sandwich and serve with dipping sauce on the side.