Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches

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I’ve got a recipe for the carnivores today. It’s BEEFY!!!! (said in my best attempt at a Christian Bale batman voice)

Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches (9) The youngest few in my family tend to go through unpredictable mood swings when it comes to food and they are constantly changing their minds in ways that make no sense whatsoever. Get this, one time Sophie stopped drinking milk for an entire week because she happened to be drinking a glass of it when a bee flew in the house. That somehow meant that every future glass of milk was compromised because of its relation to bees in her mind. I know, what? See, no sense.

Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches! Brock has this thing about cheese that I think I’ve finally started to understand, despite the fact that he doesn’t know how to explain it. At least, I’ve learned my way around it and I can usually get him to eat things containing cheese without him knowing it. Basically he just doesn’t like to know he’s eating cheese. What’s really annoying is that he’ll claim to hate cheese but his favorite food is cheese pizza. I’m pretty sure he’s planning to make a profession out of arguing someday too because it’s something he practices a lot. Ugh, that kid sometimes…..

Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches (4) My point here, is that I don’t think I’ve given my mom enough credit for the nutrition she does get them to eat. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I have my own kids, but of course, my kids won’t have picky issues (Uh huh, I’ll just keep telling myself this). My mom has to get pretty creative sometimes. The way she puts it is “you choose your battles” and I have to say I’m starting to see her wisdom in this.

Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches (6) A few days ago Brock was trying to talk her into getting these ready-to-eat steaks for dinner when they caught his eye at the store’s tiny cafe area. This was a much better option than the candy, chips, and soda he’d been asking for the same day, but she still wanted to get fresh ones and make them at home. Apparently (I wasn’t there) they turned out pretty good. Good enough that some of my gang was pretty sad there wasn’t enough for everyone. It’s pretty hilarious actually. The cuts of meat here are kind of a joke in my family because we’ve had some pretty bad experiences and tough lessons trying to figure them out.

Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches. You see, not only are the names of the meat in Spanish (which we could probably translate if that was it), but for some reason Chilean butchers feel it’s necessary to cut the cows entirely different than US butchers and the cuts are all unfamiliar to us. Unfortunately, I’m not exactly a meat expert, so it’s all trial and error for me. Anyway, to avoid devastation, my mom promised to get more of said steaks the next time she went shopping, but they didn’t have the same cuts she had bought the first time, so she got a different one. When she cooked one it ended up being like trying to chew through leather.

Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches (8) That gets me to why and how I ended up with a bunch of raw steaks that needed some serious help to be usable. I decided to put them in a marinade that I’ve been wanting to try for the longest time involving, that’s right, some good old java! Even with the meat as tough as it was to begin with, it actually saved the day and made it somewhere close to tender. I can only imagine what it would have been like if I had started with a better cut of meat. I’m putting flank steak in the recipe because that is what I would have been using if I had access to it.

Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches (10) These sandwiches were a big hit to say the least. I put them on freshly baked homemade sourdough buns and added plenty of cheese, which I even got mr. I-hate-cheese to eat by the way. Oh, and I bartered the hand modeling services of my brother-in-law again, since he did so good last time, for one of the sandwiches. He’ll be signing autographs next Thursday if you’re interested (ha, not really).

Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches (3) K, and if anyone sees the prep time and freaks, just know that it’s almost all marinating time. The hands-on time in this recipe is about 25 minutes total and you can do it almost all ahead of time if you want. That way you can have a ready lunch or dinner for a lazy midweek meal. Happy dipping!

Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches (2)

Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches

Prep Time: 10 hours

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours

Yield: 4 sandwiches


    Marinade/au jus:
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup black coffee
  • 3 tablespoons worchestershire
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregeno
  • 1 (1 pound) flank steak
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Carmelized onions:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • Sandwiches:
  • 4 sandwich buns or 2 french baguettes cut in half
  • 4 - 8 slices provolone cheese


  1. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat and add chopped onion and garlic. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until browned and fragrant, then scoop into a dutch oven or small roasting pan with lid. Add remaining ingredients for marinade and stir well. Add steak to marinade, cover with lid, and place pan in refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours. The longer it marinates the more tender it will be.
  2. After at least 8 hours, heat oven to 300 degrees F (150 C) and remove pan from fridge and place in oven. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, checking every 30 minutes after the first hour, until completely cooked and tender.
  3. Remove steak from juice to a separate plate while making au jus. If using a dutch oven just plave on stove, otherwise pour juices from pan into a medium saucepan and place on stove. Whisk flour and water in a small bowl until smooth then pour into pan and turn on heat to medium high. Whisk constantly until the juice begins to thicken slightly, then remove pan from heat. Slice steak into thin strips and place in warm au jus while preparing your sandwich toppings.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in same medium skillet as before over medium heat and add sliced onions. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until browned and soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Turn on oven to broil and slice sandwich buns in half. Place them face-up on foil lined baking tray and toast in oven for about 3 minutes until browned. Remove and lay cheese slice on bread and return to over for around 1 minute longer until cheese is melted. Remove and add steak slices and caramelized onions to buns and serve with small bowls of warm au jus for dipping.


steak recipe adapted from Saveur magazine

Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches (5) Coffee & Soy Marinated Steak French Dip Sandwiches (7)

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      • Elizabeth Zeller says

        I don’t have a roasting pan with a lid can I use a saucepan that has a lid that is oven safe or can I put it in a large roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil

        • Tori says

          Hey Elizabeth, thanks for reading! I think either of the options you mentioned would work just fine for this. It’s mostly about trying to keep the meat from drying out. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

  1. Beebah says

    So, I enjoyed the story almost as much as the recipe! LOL I could play out the whole thing, as if I were there! I love your stories! Those sandwiches look soooo good! And I knew it was Josh that was your “hand” lol! Jonathan was just jealous that he wasn’t there to be your “sampler”.

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