French Dip Venison Sandwiches

We love French Dip Sandwiches. They are typically made with roast beef on French bread, and eaten dipped in au jus. ("Au jus" is French for "in its own juice.") If you've had them before, this recipe is a little different. We decided to slow cook the roast in the crock pot-- yes, our first crock pot recipe. :-) The venison is shredded instead of the typical slices of roast beef you often see. Then we melted lots of provolone cheese on fresh French bread under the broiler, and that topped the sandwich off perfectly. This is one of those "you set it and forget it" recipes. Please enjoy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: about 5-6 hours
Servings: 4
- 2 lbs. venison roast
- 1 onion, sliced 
- 3 cloves of garlic, slightly crushed
- 1 (10.5 oz) can of beef broth (keep an extra can on hand, in case if the liquid doesn't cover the roast completely)
- 1 (10.5 oz) can of condensed French onion soup
- 1 (12 fl. oz) can of dark beer
- 5-7 splashes of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 loaf of French Bread, or equivalent
- provolone cheese slices
- optional seasonings: 1/4 tsp. thyme, 1/4 tsp. rosemary
- kosher/sea salt, to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper

1. Slice onion and crush garlic like so.
2. Trim venison roast of all fat. Leave the silver skin on. Sprinkle freshly crushed black pepper all over roast.
3. Pour condensed French onion soup into the crock pot (no water added) and then the beef broth.
Then the beer...
And the onion, garlic, Worcestershire, any other desired seasonings and then the roast itself. The meat should be covered completely with liquid; add more broth if needed. It depends on the size of your crock pot. As  you can see, we had to add more.

4. Set the crock to low and wait... about 5-6 hours, or until the roast is tender.

Doh-dee-doh-dee-doh.... we had a lot of time to kill...

So please enjoy some random pictures from out back while we wait.

 A vase that Rick doesn't remember making in high school. 

I have a thing for garden gnomes. I don't know why. I just like them. Perhaps it's because they're strange. And that speaks to me. :-)

Rick's mom loves donkeys. 

Ok! Back to business... 5 hours later. 

5. Once the venison is tender, ladle some au jus into a saucepan (as much as you think you'll need for dipping) and reduce the liquid by about a quarter to half over medium-high heat. This may take a few minutes. This will allow the flavors to deepen. Add salt and pepper, as necessary. 
6. Shred the venison roast with a fork and return it to the crock pot with remaining juices. This will allow the venison to soak up the juices. 
7. Slice French rolls in half, lengthwise. Lay Provolone slices on the bottom half... Place the bread on a cookie sheet.
And broil until cheese is melted. Watch closely because it's super easy to burn under the broiler. 
Stack sandwiches with shredded venison and cooked onion. Ladle reduced au jus in into dipping bowls. Dip your sandwich in au jus with every bite. Serve hot. Yum!

Thanks for looking!