When I first starting dating The Boyfriend, he told me that he didn’t eat beef… like… ever! As a hardcore beef eater, I almost called it quits right then and there. But…. I fell in love with him anyway. When we moved in together, I figured I’d throw on a steak for myself now and then – no big deal. Now, a year and a half later I haven’t cooked any beef. Not a buttery steak, not a juicy burger, not a succulent roast… well you get the picture.
In my beef wasteland, I missed certain dishes that I couldn’t get at a restaurant as good as I made at home… such as a juicy, garlicy, beefy, melty french dip. Since I had created some amazing beefless meals to curb my beefy cravings, I thought why not do the same for a french dip? So I did – and I wish I had done it sooner! The slow cooker makes this lean pork so tender it melts in your mouth. The au jus has a rich oniony, salty, meaty, garlicy flavor that will make you excited for leftovers. Pair it with my Bread Machine Hoagie Rolls and you’ll be making it again and again – because it takes very little effort and it’s amazing.
This is a No Need to Measure recipe – meaning you can keep your measuring spoons and cups in the cupboard. Don’t panic! You’ve got this. I’ll show you how to do it – we’re just gonna throw some goodies into a slow cooker. You can’t mess this amazing, succulent sandwich up. In fact, you’ll be wishing you doubled it – which you easily can.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started. A nice lean pork tenderloin; I marinate it overnight in my favorite Italian Dressing, Newman’s Parmesan & Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing – it’s just good for everything – and I do mean everything. Some onions, some herbs, some Better Than Bouillon Beef Base and Better Than Bouillon, Organic Chicken Base, good quality white wine vinegar, I used Champagne Vinegar, Peppercorns, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, and Garlic Powder.
Cut the onions in nice thick rounds. Place about 2/3 of them on the bottom of the slow cooker, just enough to make a nice oniony bed for the pork.
Nestle your pork on top of the onions. Generously sprinkle Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and Garlic Powder on the pork until it’s nicely seasoned – trust me, there’s never too much of anything in this recipe.
Add 1 large spoonful of Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base and 1 generous small spoonful of Better Than Bouillon Beef Base. Okay, so it’s not totally beef free… The Boyfriend hasn’t noticed it in there – shhhh don’t tell him. But it does give it a perfect amount of meaty richness. If you’re really opposed to the beef stock, just add more of the Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base.
Next toss in a palm full of Peppercorns – whatever you have on hand will do. Get it? On hand... see my beefy hand there? Ok, enough with the bad jokes.
Spread your herbs and the rest of those onions over the top of the pork. Pour in 3 cups of water, toss in a couple bay leaves, and do two good glugs of Champagne Vinegar. What’s a glug you ask, eh… it’s about 2 tablespoons if I had to measure – but I don’t!
Cover the slow cooker and let it do what it needs to do for 6 – 7 hours on low. In the meantime, you can make Bread Machine Hoagie Rolls with your bread machine – or you can nap. Whichever suits you.
Once your pork is done, it should easily come apart, pull out the pork and as much of the onions as you can. Pull apart the pork with a couple of forks. Don’t go crazy here, you want chunky succulent pieces. Keep aside with the onions, in a covered dish.
Strain your au jus (yeah, we just got fancy) through a colander. Then strain it one last time through a fine mesh strainer if you have one. This will get out all the little bits and chunks and just leaves the good stuff. Put about 1/2 cup of the au jus in with the meat to keep it moist and the rest in a sauce pot.
Now, try the au jus. Does it need more salt or substance? If so, I would add just a small dollop of the Better Than Bouillon Beef Base before adding more salt. Give it a stir. Try it now, good? Good. Turn up the heat and get it to a simmer. Turn it down and let it reduce for about 3 minutes, and then cover to keep on low.
In meantime, turn your broiler on. Slice those hoagie rolls in half long ways. Now, you don’t have to do this next step, but you’d be a fool not to. Spread a little bit of butter on each side of a roll. Sprinkle lightly with some Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and Garlic Powder – yeah we’re making them garlic toasts. Pop them under the broiler until just toasty – watch them! They go from toasty to burned in seconds.
Once your bread is ready, take 1/4 of the meat, dunk it in the au jus, and place it on the bottom bread halves. Top with some onions and a slice of cheese.
Pop just the cheese covered breads back into the broiler until you have reached your desired meltiness.
Top with the remaining half, cut into two pieces and serve with 1/2 of au jus on the side with lots and lots of napkins.
What was that?? Hmm. I couldn’t understand you with your mouthful. Oh, yeah, you’re welcome.
- 1 3 - 4 lb Pork Tenderloin
- Newman's Parmesan & Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing
- 3 Sweet or yellow onions
- 1 spoonful Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
- 1 large spoonful Better Than Bouillon, Organic Chicken Base
- 2 glugs White Wine Vinegar, I used Champagne Vinegar
- Handful of Herbs, Rosemary, Thyme, and Sage
- A palm full of Peppercorns
- Garlic Powder
- Lawry's Seasoned Salt
- 2 Bay leaves
- 3 cups Water
- 4 Bread Machine Hoagie Rolls, or sandwich rolls
- 4 slices cheese, cheddar or swiss
- Butter, softened
- Marinate your pork tenderloin over night in your favorite italian dressing. I put just enough in a ziplock bag that it covers the pork well. **This step is optional, if you don't have time - skip it, your sandwiches will still be delish.
- Slice your onions into nice fat rounds. Separate them and cover your slow cooker with about 2/3 of them.
- Put your pork tenderloin right on the onions. Shake a a generous amount of seasoning salt and garlic powder over the top of the tenderloin until it's evenly seasoned. Top the pork with the herbs and onions. Add the water, bay leaves, stock bases, peppercorns, and vinegar.
- Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours, until the meat is easily pulled a part by a fork.
- Remove the pork and onions into a separate bowl. Gently pull the pork apart into decent size chunks with a couple of forks. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Strain the broth, or au jus into a bowl through a colander. Then strain it again with a fine mesh strainer into a medium pot. Add about 1/2 cup of au jus in with the meat to keep it moist.
- Cook the au jus on medium high until it starts to boil. Allow it to boil for about 3 minutes just to reduce it some. Keep the au jus on low heat, covered.
- In the mean time, turn your broiler on. Slice your Hoagie rolls in half longways and place on a baking sheet. Smear a little butter on each half or a roll. Sprinkle lightly with seasoning salt and garlic powder. Broil the toasts until just golden.
- Using tongs, dip the meat into the au jus and then place on the bottom half of each roll. Top with some onions and a slice of cheese. Return to bottom halves to the broiler. Broil until the cheese has melted.
- Top with other half of the roll and cut in half. Serve with 1/2 cup of the au jus for dipping!