Extreme Vegan Makeover: French Dip Sandwich with Jus and Onion Spread Edition


“Oh my G-d! Oh My G-d! OH MY G-D!!!!!” Tom repeatedly cried out last night. I don’t think I have ever seen a look of such pleasure, such passion, such hunger, such rapture on Tom’s face. His eyes were wide with fascination, his mouth wet with desire. “OH MY G-D!” he exclaimed.

And then he was finished. He wiped the sweat from his brow, tried to control his labored breathing and licked his lips. Tom’s eyes traveled over me with a gaze that showed both satiety and a wish to do it all over again. And while that was tempting to me as well, I didn’t think I could handle any more. No, not that night.

We were in the dining room and Tom and I were eating a sandwich. Not just any sandwich but a French Dip with Jus and an Onion Spread.

The idea for the sandwich came from Food Network Magazine’s April 2011 issue. They have a recipe for a French Dip Sandwich in a section called “Meat & Potatoes.” Food Network (the mother of food porn) also has a new TV show called “Meat & Potatoes” that has been getting a lot of attention – from Vegetarians and Vegans. Why?

Not just because the last thing Food Network needed was yet another show about meat when there is not one program dedicated to Vegetarians and Vegans but because the web page for this new show states, “Rated ‘M’ for meat, vegetarians beware.” Because the infinitely annoying commercial for this new show boasts the tag line, “Vegetarians just don’t understand.”

Well, we Vegetarians and Vegans understand plenty. We understand that innocent living beings are exploited, tortured and slaughtered just because people like how they taste. We understand that promoting these unhealthy eating habits comes at a high cost – to animals, people, and to the environment. We understand that cruelty is not necessary to create delicious, mouthwatering dishes.

Photo from Food Network Humor

We also understand that we don’t have to just stand by and be insulted for choosing a cruelty-free lifestyle. There is a letter-writing campaign asking Food Network to change the tag line to their “Meat & Potatoes” show as well as to respond to our never-ending but always ignored pleas for Vegetarian- and Vegan-friendly programming. We are more than just cupcakes!!

There is strength in numbers and we are loudest when we are one united voice. Please write to Food Network and ask them to change the tag line and be more veggie-friendly. The link is http://www.foodnetwork.com/contact-us/package/index.html

So after writing my letter to Food Network, I made my own version of their French Dip Sandwich. I used a mix of Gardein Beefless Tips and fresh Portobello mushrooms. The sandwich could be made with just one or the other but the two together makes for an incredible combination that is even richer, deeper and more complex in flavor. I also made a quick version of their onion spread and my own gravy or jus for dipping.

My French Dip Sandwich with Jus and Onion Spread is faster, easier and VEGAN. Understand THAT, Food Network!!

It is indulgent, succulent and orgasmic. Just ask Tom 🙂 


French Dip Sandwiches with Jus and Onion Spread

For the Onion Spread (make at least an hour or two in advance):

Ingredients

1 Tbs. safflower or canola oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, finely chopped, separate green and white parts
½ cup Vegan sour cream
½ cup Vegan mayo
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Vegan Worcestershire sauce

Directions

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and salt. Cover and cook, stirring, until onions are softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and the white parts of the scallions. Cover and cook another 5 minutes. Add the green parts of the scallions. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a bowl put the sour cream, mayo, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Chop the onion mixture and add to the bowl. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. If you are in a rush, put the mixture in the freezer to chill faster.

For the Jus

Ingredients

2 Tbs. vegan buttery spread
2 Tbs. chickpea flour
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbs. Vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a small saucepan, melt 2 Tbs. of vegan spread. Add 2 Tbs. flour and whisk until the flour is incorporated. Let the roux cook for a minute. Add the veggie broth while whisking, making sure there are no lumps. Bring the jus to a boil while continuing to whisk. Add the Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. Lower the heat and let the jus thicken. When it is at the desired consistency, take it off the heat.

For the Sandwiches

Ingredients

1 package Gardein beefless tips, frozen
½ – 3/4 lb. large Portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. olive oil
Kosher salt
½ tsp. celery salt
½ tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ cup vegetable broth
1 loaf French bread
Olive oil cooking spray
Garlic powder (or garlic clove)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the same large skillet where you made the onions, heat the olive oil. Add the Portobello mushrooms and let cook until the mushrooms are soft and juicy. Add the frozen Gardein beefless tips to the skillet and let cook. When the Gardein tips soften, add the spices and mix. If the skillet seems dry, add some veggie broth. Let the mushroom-Gardein mixture cook for about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl.

When it cools enough to touch, slice the Gardein chunks into strips resembling the Portobello mushrooms. Add back to the skillet to keep warm. Add some of the jus to the skillet with the Gardein-mushroom mixture.

Slice a loaf of French bread in half length-wise. Spray with olive oil cooking spray and add a pinch of garlic powder (or rub with a cut clove of garlic). Put the bread on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until the bread is crispy, about 5 minutes.

To assemble:

Apply the onion spread to both sides of the bread. Spoon some of the jus on top of the onion spread. Layer the Gardein-mushroom mixture onto the bottom half of the bread. Cover with the top half of the bread. Serve with a bowl of jus on the side for dipping.


Note: the remaining onion spread is delicious as a dip for French fries.

Just be sure to use protection. It’s a really messy sandwich 🙂 Enjoy!

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6 Responses to Extreme Vegan Makeover: French Dip Sandwich with Jus and Onion Spread Edition

  1. Trudy January 26, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    I just made this tonight for dinner. So darn delicious. I really do not think any meat eaters would notice and even if they did, I’m sure no one would be able to stop eating. Thanks for sharing such an awesome recipe.

    • Rhea January 27, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

      Yay! I’m so glad you all liked it. It’s a favorite of mine. Thank you Trudy (love your name – my spokescow is named Trudy). xoxo

  2. Rhea Parsons March 28, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Thank you all for the kind comments.

    Carl – your comments mean so much to me! Thank you!!

  3. Anonymous March 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    I’m a meat eating FOODIE, so it doesn’t matter that it’s vegan, which I’ve had the pleasure of trying some of my vegan friend’s good cooking anyway, it was fascinating to read your recipe. I’ll have to share it with my friend. And I agree that Food Network needs to add some Vegetarian-Vegan shows. I believe that foodies in general would tune in whether we would try the recipes or not. Cause food is just fascinating! Then there’s people with vegetarian and vegan friends that would watch. So come on Food Network, you already got plenty of people willing to watch beyond the vegetarian-vegan population!!!

    -Carl

  4. Kendra Vegan Julian-Baker February 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    OMG YUMMY YUMMY YUMMMY even my meat eating dad thought it was good and ate every bite. My vegetarian son kept telling me we can’t eat this it is meat. I finally convinced him I cooked it and it was not meat. Everyone ate it except my mom right now she is so anti vegan anything even though she has high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I will keep working on her. Thanks again for the recipe:)

  5. Toni February 9, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    Whoa! I thought I had clicked on the wrong page and got some porn site from that first paragraph!! 😉
    THAT looks really good, Rhea! I’d skip the Onion Spread, myself – if the jus is good, that’s really all you need for a good French Dip! – but this DEFINITELY looks worth a try.
    And BTW, I don’t know if it was a result of your campaign (I HOPE so!!), but the “Meat & Potatoes” show seems to have (thankfully) died a slow, but complete death. As much as I hate to see anything suffer and die, if something has to, I couldn’t think of a more worthy candidate than that show. 🙂


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