Sous Vide Roast Beef for Sandwiches is one of the best ways to enjoy a juicy, tender roast beef sandwich. The meat is cooked at an exact temperature, so it’s always perfect and ready for whatever you choose to serve with it – from sautéed onions and mushrooms to horseradish mayonnaise and spicy mustard.
Sous Vide Roast Beef For Sandwiches
This is where you can really see how temperature and time both play pivotal roles in cooking food sous vide. I tested this roast at 140-degrees F (medium doneness) for 16 hours, 18 hours, and 24 hours. The doneness was the same for all three batches — they were all a perfect, rosy-pink inside — but the tenderness was remarkably different.
At 16 hours, the roast was cooked, but a little on the chewy side. At 18 hours, it cut easily and was notably less chewy. At the 24-hour mark, it was so tender that you could cut it with a fork, but yet still had enough texture that you knew you were eating steak. This ain’t no baby food.
But it’s not magic — this is sous vide cooking!
Sous Vide Was Made for Recipes Like This
I love love LOVE cooking big touch cuts of meat sous vide, like the top round roast we’re using for these French Dip Sandwiches. Here’s why:
Sous Vide Was Made for Cheap, Tough Cuts
Here is when the importance of temperature and time in sous vide cooking becomes clear. I tested this roast for 16, 18, and 24 hours at 140 degrees F (medium doneness). All three batches were perfectly rosy-pink inside when they were finished; however, the tenderness varied greatly.
The roast was cooked after 16 hours, however it was a touch chewy. It was far less chewy and sliced easily after 18 hours. By the 24-hour mark, it was fork-cuttable but yet retained enough texture for you to know you were eating steak. This is not infant formula.
Flexible Cooking Time
I would happily serve this dish after cooking it for anywhere between 18 and 24 hours. Although I haven’t tried boiling it for longer, I believe the maximum cooking window is about 30 hours.
The roast can also be prepared ahead of time and warmed up right before serving. This increases the recipe’s adaptability to your schedule.
The Double-Sear Method for Sous Vide Cooking
I learned the art of double-searing during my first sous vide attempts. The meat should be seared twice: once before going into the sous vide bath and once more after coming out.
Although the meat will be cooked in all those roasted, caramelized juices for a few hours, the first sear gives the finished roast a wonderful flavor. The second sear is used to create that crusty, cripsy exterior. This double-sear method makes a remarkable change in flavor and texture and is definitely worth trying!
How to Make French Dip Sandwiches
The rest comes together quickly once your top round roast is prepared and cooked.
Working against the grain, shave as much fat off the meat as you can. Place it on toasted French bread, then add cheese slices on top. You may now prepare it for eating by placing it briefly under the broiler. Serve them all at once after preparing an entire sheet pan!
Sous Vide French Dip Sandwiches
PREP TIME45 mins
COOK TIME18 hrs
TOTAL TIME18 hrs 45 mins
SERVINGS6 to 8 sandwiches
For this dish, go for top or bottom round roast because they are less fatty and simpler to chop into thin pieces. If round roast is not available, use chuck roast and cut thicker pieces.
The roast from this recipe is also excellent in salads, tacos, sandwiches, and any other dish that calls for tender steak or beef slices.
Try grilling it for the second sear rather than preparing it on the stovetop! This imparts a pleasant smokey flavor to the meat.
Until the conclusion of the sous vide cooking period, prepare the roast according to the recipe. To cool the roast down, remove it from the water and place it in a dish of ice water. Refrigerate after cooling until ready to serve. Continue with searing the roast and assembling the sandwiches after rewarming for about an hour in a 140F sous vide bath.
If a sous vide immersion circulator is not available:
Cook the roast for 3 to 4 hours at 325° F in a Dutch oven (or other heavy, covered pot) or for 6 to 8 hours on low in a slow cooker.
Sous Vide Roast Beef
With the help of this recipe, you can create a roast that is juicy and tender on the inside and has a gorgeously charred crust on the exterior.
Try cooking your next beef roast sous vide if you want juicy, tender roast meat.
Whether you want to make roast beef sandwiches or serve the entire roast for supper, this recipe yields a wonderful roast.
Cooking a roast this way has the benefit of tenderizing the beef and allowing it to absorb the flavors of the seasonings without overcooking it.
This recipe for sous vide roast beef uses a generous amount of rosemary, smoked paprika, and garlic in the spice rub to produce a roast that is flavorful and full-bodied. Worcestershire sauce is also included to enhance the umami qualities that are already there.
Picking Out a Roast
One benefit of sous vide beef cooking is that it may be used to prepare a variety of roasts. This method works equally well with tougher roasts like sirloin, ribeye, and tenderloin as it does with tougher ones like chuck, top round, or rump.
The tastes in this dish are based on those in classic English roast beef recipes, which explains why it works with so many different cuts. The fact that sous vide is such a flexible technology also helps. In contrast to braising, which causes the meat to fall apart, lengthy, slow cooking helps to tenderize the meat without causing the collagen and connective tissue to break down.
Tender is the Roast
Sous Vide Roast Beef
No matter which type of roast you choose, pick one out that has good marbling and has a nice shape. It’s also a good idea to remove any extra bits of fat or gristle before cooking.
How to Cook a Beef Roast Sous Vide
Cooking roasts in this manner makes it simple to achieve the ideal medium-rare roast, which is juicy and soft on the inside and has a gorgeously charred crust on the exterior.
The majority of recipes specify cooking the roast for 12 to 48 hours in a water bath with a temperature setting of 130°F to 145°F.
We recommend a time and temperature combination of 136ºF for 24 hours when you’re cooking a beef roast sous vide.
In our testing, we discovered that roasting the beef to a temperature of 136°F produced a lovely medium-rare roast that was firm enough to slice for sandwiches but soft enough to be served as the main dish.
If we cooked roasts at lower temperatures, the beef would easily fall apart and be overdone, making it difficult to slice for sandwiches. If we cooked roasts at temperatures higher than 140°F, the meat would be underdone.
The texture wasn’t what we were wanting for at 18 hours, and generally speaking, we haven’t discovered any advantages to cooking pieces this size for longer than 24 hours. Yet, if it makes it simpler to serve dinner at the appropriate time, a few more hours here and there won’t really matter.
The roast can be pan seared before cooking as an extra step. According to the hypothesis, pre-searing enhances the roast’s flavor. Pre-searing often only involves adding extra steps to recipes for sous vide cooking.
Finishing a Roast
There are two ways to finish the roast with a good sear. First, after it has finished cooking, pan-sear it in some olive oil. If you’re going to prepare a pan sauce to go with the roast, try it this way.
The roast should be finished by placing it on a broiler pan and placing it in a hot oven or under the broiler for 10 to 15 minutes, turning it halfway through.
We appreciate how simple it is to use this method to make an au jus or gravy while putting the finishing touches on the rest of the meal.
It takes just a few minutes to boil down the liquid from the roast to make au jus using this recipe. You can strain the au jus through a coffee filter if it is cloudier than you would like.
Sous Vide Roast Beef (French Dip)
If I told you you could take the cheapest cut of meat, vacuum seal it in a bag, toss it in a pot of water, stick a sous-vide stick in there and it will transform into the most perfectly cooked roast beef that tastes like a true $50 prime rib, trust me. Because that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
Sous Vide Roast Beef (French Dip)
You would believe me if I told you that the cheapest cut of meat could be vacuum-sealed in a bag, dropped into a pot of water, and heated using a sous-vide stick to create the most precisely cooked roast beef that rivals a genuine $50 prime rib. Because that is what will actually take place.
PREP TIME5 minutes
COOK TIME48 minutes
TOTAL TIME53 minutes
FOR THE ROAST BEEF:
- 6 tbsp of olive or vegetable oil, divided three ways (2 tbsp x 3)
- 3-4 lbs of top round or bottom round roast
- Kosher salt, for lightly rubbing onto the roast
- 3/4 cup of a dry red wine (like Cabernet or Pinot Noir)
- 2 cups of beef broth
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
FOR THE FRENCH DIPS:
- Bread of your choice (Hero, Italian, French or round Kaiser or Challah Rolls)
- 2-4 Vidalia/sweet and yellow onions
- Slices of Muenster Cheese (or any sliced cheese of your choice such as Provolone, Swiss or Cheddar)
- Au Jus, from the Roast Beef for dipping
- On all sides, lightly season the roast with kosher salt.
- Follow these instructions IF you wish to sear BEFORE cooking (for a more browned edge). Go to Step 6 if not.
- Turn the stove to high heat, add 2 tbsp of the oil to a big skillet or frying pan, and cook the food.
- After the oil has heated for two to three minutes, sear the roast for three to four minutes on each side, making sure to get a good char. When the roast is finished, put it on a plate to cool for five minutes.
- Red wine is added to the same frying pan while the roast is cooling, and it is simmered for 1 minute while being scraped to remove any roast residue that may have stuck to the bottom. Turn off the heat after stirring in the thyme, and then pour the wine, oil, and thyme combination into a pyrex glass. Let it to cool for a while.
- In the meantime, put the roast in a gallon freezer bag (two bags are recommended) or, if you’re a pro, use a Sous Vide bag. Alternatively, use a bag for that if you’re really fancy and have a vacuum sealer.
- Pour the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and then the red wine, which should have cooled by this point (NOTE: If you skipped the pre-sear, add the red wine and thyme to the bag now.) into the contents of the bag. As it wouldn’t have been heated, it won’t be hot. The bay leaves should also be included.
- Note: If using a vacuum sealer, seal the bag completely. Take the bag and seal it, leaving just the edge free for air to escape.
- Now take the bag and set it on top of a trivet or heat-resistant coaster in an empty pot that is at least 6 quarts in size. Add warmish-hot water slowly to the sides of the bag from the sink (and NOT directly in the bag or it will dilute the au jus and flavor). You can see how all the air will swiftly leave from the bag’s top opening as the water level rises and envelops it, giving the illusion that the bag is shutting. Gently squeeze the remaining air out of the bag until it is nearly completely sealed, then seal the remaining opening. The meat should be completely submerged in the bag, enveloped by the au jus, and the water should reach just below the top of the sealing strip (NOTE: if using a vacuum sealed bag, just dunk it directly in the water because it’s already sealed).
- For a 3 lb. roast, set the Sous Vide stick to 135 degrees for 22 hours, and for a 4 lb. roast, set it to 135 degrees for 24 hours. The perfect medium-rare temperature will be reached in this way. Cook at 140 degrees if you prefer it more medium, or 145 degrees if you prefer it more well-done. (NOTE: If you have an Instant Pot Ultra, you may create a (simulated) Sous Vide effect using the “Ultra” setting. Don’t anticipate it to be as accurate as using a Sous Vide Stick/Immersion Circulator, but all directions and temperature/times stay the same.)
- With about an hour remaining, heat a skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and cook the onions for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are caramelized and practically browned on the edges. When finished, they need to be lovely and syrupy. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
- Make sure the top is still tightly sealed after carefully removing the roast-containing bag from the Sous Vide machine and setting it on some paper towels. Otherwise, it might rip open, leak all the au jus, and we’d all start crying. This is why you should double bag if you’re not using sous vide bags or a vacuum sealer.
- Transfer the roast to a platter with tongs, then pat it dry.
- In a big bowl, pour all of the au jus from the package (there will be a lot)
- Finish searing the roast for 1-2 minutes on each side (some only like a finishing sear and not a pre-sear as previously stated)
- When the roast is finished, transfer it to a cutting board and, using a sturdy knife, slice AGAINST THE GRAIN (meaning NOT in the same direction as the lines of the meat or it it will shred apart and not slice into beautiful cuts). Slice to the thickness or thinness you like (I chose slices that were about 1/4″ thick). You’ll be astounded by the roast’s exquisite appearance and flavor! A genuine metamorphosis from a straightforward roast to opulent prime rib area
- Place all of the sliced meat in the au jus dish after slicing to keep it juicy and moist.
- Set the oven to broil if you’re making French dips. Each sandwich should have a few mounds of meat pieces on a baking sheet wrapped with foil, some caramelized onions on top, and a slice of cheese. Put in the oven to broil for two to three minutes, but keep an eye on it because all ovens differ and the cheese can burn if you take a break. The cheese is done when it starts to bubble and get brown.
- Take a sizable piece of bread or roll of your choosing, dip each side in the au jus, use a spatula to arrange the heap of meat on the bottom half, top it with the top bun, dip it all in the au jus, and enjoy!
If you have an Instant Pot Ultra, you may create a (simulated) Sous Vide effect using the “Ultra” preset. Expect it to be less accurate than using a Sous Vide Stick/Immersion Circulator, but all directions and temperature/times stay the same.
I STRONGLY advise a Sous Vide at 135 degrees for 24 hours if using a 3–4 lb roast. It is the winning ticket for medium rare beef that is precisely cooked. I wouldn’t cook something above 145 degrees if you prefer it slightly more medium or medium-well.
A few of the more frequently asked questions we came across researching this recipe were:
How long does it take to sous vide a roast?
To get the right balance between flavor and texture we recommend cooking roasts for 24 hours.
Can you overcook meat in sous vide?
You can’t overcook meat in the traditional sense when you’re cooking it this way. At a certain point in time, it will break down and fall apart even though its internal temperature never exceeded the cooking temperature.
Can you sous vide a frozen roast?
Yes, you can. A few things to keep in mind is that the roast needs to be in plastic that works for sous vide, so beware of items that you didn’t package yourself, and depending on the cut it may need to cook longer to get it to turn out the same as one that’s been defrosted.