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French Dip Pastrami Sandwich Recipe

french dip pastrami sandwich cut in half in front of au jus, a knife, and a small bowl of pickles

The French dip sandwich is pretty synonymous with roast beef, and it’s literally one of my favorite sandwiches ever. Something about dipping that hot roast beef sandwich into some perfectly flavored and hot au jus that just brings a smile to my face. What’s interesting, though, is how rarely this is used for pastrami. I have no idea why.

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This French dip pastrami sandwich recipe was inspired by a restaurant I used to hit at least once a week when I lived in Southern California called “The Hat.” You’ll see plenty of recipes influenced by my time in SoCal, like these San Diego style tacos, but today’s recipe is all about that flavorful pastrami. If you check out my recipe for smoked and beer-braised corned beef, you’ll see where the meat for this sandwich comes from.

French dip pastrami sandwich on a cutting board

What’s great is how simple this is—and affordable. I’ve mentioned this tip before but it’s worth mentioning again because you’re definitely going to want to make this French dip pastrami sandwich all the time, and not just around St. Patrick’s Day. So, here’s the money-saving tip on this one: right after St. Patrick’s Day, hit up your local grocery stores and stock up on the pre-brined corned beef briskets. They are on sale for pennies on the dollar and they freeze well. So, pick up a few and toss ’em in the freezer till you’re ready to use them.

What Is Au Jus Gravy?

Au jus is just a fancy French term that means “juice” and that’s exactly what we want for this sandwich. Dipping the roll into the juice or “au jus” not only adds a ton of flavor to each bite, but also makes every bite as hot as the last when using my steaming hot and flavor packed pastrami au jus.

How To Make Au Jus Without Drippings

Au jus is generally made with the drippings from the meat that’s being made. In this case, we aren’t going to have any drippings, but I promise this au jus is still amazing. The key is to sweat some onions in some butter, add some flour, coriander, and pepper along with some beef broth and Worcestershire and—keeping in the spirit of the French…voilá. That’s fancy for “see it.”

Tips for Making a Pastrami Dip Sandwich

1. For this French dip pastrami sandwich and for other sandwiches I make, I use a deli slicer. It makes the job so, so much easier. But if you don’t have one just grab a sharp knife and slice and or chop the meat as finely as you can. Chopping makes it much easier to pile high on the hoagie roll and easier to bite into as well, but you lose some meat when you dip the sandwich. Using just thinly sliced meat prevents that, but is harder to bite into, so it’s a personal choice on that.

2. I’m all about saving a buck and scrimping when I can, but don’t scrimp on the provolone cheese on this one. I find store-brand provolone to taste very similar to nothing. It’s nearly tasteless, so spend the extra coin and get some good cheese for this one.

3. Because of the nature of this sandwich, I highly recommend serving it with something crunchy. I prefer salt and vinegar potato chips, but if that’s not your jam try some pretzels with mustard.

French dip pastrami sandwich on a cutting board, overhead shot with pickles and mustard in small metal serving bowls at top

French Dip Pastrami Sandwich Recipe

Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
½ medium Vidalia onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp flour
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 cup beef broth
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lb pastrami
1 8” hoagie roll
4 slices provolone cheese
pickles

close up of French dip pastrami sandwich on a cutting board sliced in half in front of au jus and pickles

How To Make a French Dip Pastrami Sandwich

Step 1: Add butter to a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Once butter melts, add in onions, and cook till translucent, about 5 minutes.

a pan with onions, butter, cracked pepper and coriander for au jus

Step 2: Add flour to cooked onions and cook for an additional 2 minutes while whisking to cook the flour taste out. Add in coriander and black pepper and whisk together with beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and let simmer while you prepare the sandwich.

pan of au jus cools on counter with wooden spoon

Step 3: Pile finely sliced or chopped pastrami onto bottom bun. Put on a baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Top pastrami with cheese and return to oven for an additional 5–7 minutes or until cheese has evenly melted. While cheese is melting, spread mustard on top portion of bun, and pour au jus into small bowl.

finely copped pastrami and a pastrami sandwich cut in half

Step 4: Remove sandwich from oven, top with pickles and top bun. Slice in half and serve with au jus and chips.

French dip pastrami sandwich on a cutting board

French Dip Pastrami Sandwich Recipe

If you tried this recipe and enjoyed it, please click the stars below to leave a rating | Print Recipe

French Dip Pastrami Sandwich Recipe

4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • ½ medium Vidalia onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb pastrami
  • 1 8" hoagie roll
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • pickles

Instructions

  • Add butter to a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Once butter melts, add in onions, and cook till translucent, about 5 minutes.
  •  Add flour to cooked onions and cook for an additional 2 minutes while whisking to cook the flour taste out. Add in coriander and black pepper and whisk together with beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and let simmer while you prepare the sandwich.
  • Pile finely sliced or chopped pastrami onto bottom bun. Put on a baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Top pastrami with cheese and return to oven for an additional 5–7 minutes or until cheese has evenly melted. While cheese is melting, spread mustard on top portion of bun, and pour au jus into small bowl.
  • Remove sandwich from oven, top with pickles and top bun. Slice in half and serve with au jus and chips.

Notes

This French dip pastrami sandwich recipe was inspired by a restaurant I used to hit at least once a week when I lived in Southern California called “The Hat.” You’ll see plenty of recipes influenced by my time in SoCal, like these San Diego style tacos, but today’s recipe is all about that flavorful pastrami. If you check out my recipe for smoked and beer-braised corned beef, you’ll see where the meat for this sandwich comes from.

Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

4.84 from 6 votes
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