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Barbecue Tri-Tip French Dip Sandwich

Servings: 12

Invented by French chef Phillipe Mathieu in sunny southern California in the early part of the 20th century, this sandwich gets the Adam Perry Lang treatment with the addition of smoky barbecued beef.


For the dipping jus

  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. cubed beef stew meat
  • 1 large sweet onion (about 12 oz.), sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 qt. lower-salt beef broth
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt

For the flavor paste

  • 1/4 cup mild chile powder, preferably Chimayo, ancho, or Hatch
  • 2 Tbs. yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce

For the seasoning blend

  • 1 Tbs. garlic salt
  • 1 Tbs. lemon pepper
  • 1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper

For the honey-garlic glaze

  • 2 Tbs. apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted

For the sandwich

  • 1 tri-tip steak (about 3 lb.)
  • 2 Tbs. sunflower oil
  • 2 or 3 large French baguettes
  • Caramelized Onions 

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 600
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 210
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 11
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 85
  • Sodium (mg): 1620
  • Carbohydrates (g): 52
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Sugar (g): 18
  • Protein (g): 36


Make the dipping jus

  • In a medium Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When bubbling, add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned all over, about 6 minutes. Add the onion and cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, and cook until reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Add the broth, bouillon, and thyme. Simmer on low for 1 hour. Season to taste with salt. Add small amounts of water to thin the jus, if necessary. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large pot or bowl, and strain the jus, discarding the solids. Set aside. The jus can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat before serving.

Make the flavor paste

  • In a small bowl, stir together the chile powder, mustard, Worcestershire, and soy sauce. Set aside. The paste can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Make the seasoning blend

  • In a small bowl, stir together the garlic salt, lemon pepper, black pepper, and cayenne. Set aside. The seasoning blend can be made up to 1 month in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Make the honey-garlic glaze

  • In a resealable pint-size jar, combine the vinegar and pepper flakes, and let sit for 2 minutes. Add the honey, apple juice, Worcestershire, and garlic to the jar, and then add the butter. Shake well to combine. Set aside. The glaze can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. If made in advance, warm before using to remelt the butter.

Make the sandwich

  • Heat one side of a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to high and the other to low for a mix of direct and indirect cooking.
  • Pat the steak dry with paper towels. Coat the steak all over with the flavor paste, and then coat all over with oil. Sprinkle the steak all over with the seasoning blend.
  • Put the steak on the grate heated to high. With the lid open, cook the steak, undisturbed, until well marked and lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip the steak, and grill for another 3 minutes. Transfer the steak to the grate heated to low, close the lid, and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°F, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 375°F.
  • Shake the glaze, and then brush it all over the steak, reserving some glaze to brush the bread. Continue to brush the steak with the glaze until cooked to your desired doneness, about 5 more minutes for rare, about 6 minutes for medium, and about 8 minutes for well done. Transfer to a cutting board. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices. (Alternatively, cook the steak in the oven. See Tip, below.)
  • Cut the baguettes into 5-inch lengths and slice through lengthwise, leaving one side attached so that they open like a book. Lightly toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, then brush the remaining honey-garlic glaze all over the inside of the bread. Divide the steak and caramelized onions among the baguettes. Serve with the warmed dipping jus.


To cook the steak in the oven, position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 425°F. Put the steak on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 300°F, and cook for 10 minutes. Generously brush with the glaze, return to the oven, and cook about 7 minutes for medium rare, brushing with the glaze once or twice more


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • mack4352 | 02/03/2020

    I would rate this recipe higher than a 3; however, unless you have a way to cut the meat into very thin slices as pictured, the meat is a little chewy. Another cut of meat might work better. The Au Jus and seasonings were good but can be too spicy for kids or adults who don't like heat.

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