When Life Gives You Leftover Prime Rib, Make French Dip Sandwiches

Sandwiches are a great way to use up leftover odds and ends from previous meals. While you can buy ingredients specifically to craft a one-of-a-kind sandwich for any day of the week, you can often shop from your fridge for free to create the perfect meal. Prime rib is one of those desirable cuts of meat that's often enjoyed during the holiday season. The rib roast is typically served bone-in, which equates to about 12-16 pounds of meat. Even if you're serving a feast, you're bound to have some leftovers. Luckily, prime rib can provide some of the most delicious leftovers in the form of French dip sandwiches.

These sandwiches are typically made from thinly sliced prime rib that's covered in melted cheese and served with a side of meat juice, aka au jus. For a classic French dip, you'll need leftover prime rib, a crusty French roll, and sliced cheese. Swiss is the typical choice, but provolone or even cheddar can be used instead. While this classic version is invariably delicious, some people prefer to add toppings like sautéed mushrooms and onions for even more flavor and texture.

Au jus is pivotal for a classic French dip

Before you can construct the ultimate French dip sandwich, you have to start with the beef. Leftover prime rib needs to be sliced as thinly as possible to achieve the best texture for your sandwich — in fact, aim for paper-thin if you can. Onions and mushrooms sautéed in butter and Worcestershire sauce add depth and an extra element of umami to an already beefy sandwich.

Of course, a French dip sandwich isn't complete without a side of au jus for dipping. The au jus should be made ahead of time when the rib roast cooks. This classic sauce is made from the pan drippings of the cooked beef, along with Worcestershire sauce and red wine. All these elements are simmered together to create a luxurious sauce that pairs perfectly with the meat. For leftover sandwiches, simply reheat the au jus and gently dip the meat into the sauce before layering your sandwich. Once the sandwich is assembled, it can be served with an extra side of au jus for dipping.