Beef on Weck

published Feb 8, 2023
Beef on Weck Recipe

Perfectly rare beef is thinly sliced and smeared with horseradish cream. It’s all stacked on a toasted and salted kaiser roll with caraway seeds and a side of jus. Is your mouth watering yet?

Serves5 to 6

Prep20 minutes

Cook50 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Close up of beef on weck sandwich.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Micah Morton

Moving from South Carolina to New York meant learning about new-to-me regional foods and snacks, many of which I have since fallen in love with (like a good chopped cheese from the corner bodega, which gives me a special kind of satisfaction that I didn’t know existed).

Another favorite? Roast beef sandwiches. Not just any roast beef sandwich, though — a beef on weck. Beef, typically a round or sirloin roast, gets well-seasoned with a flavorful mix of garlic and onion powders as well as celery and caraway seeds, and then slow-roasted in an oven. Afterwards, the perfectly rare meat is thinly sliced and dipped in jus. It’s all stacked on a toasted and salted kaiser roll topped with caraway seeds and smeared with horseradish cream.

Why Is It Called Beef on Weck?

A proper beef on weck is served on a kaiser roll sprinkled with flaky salt and caraway seeds, also known as a kummelweck roll. The word “weck” means roll and “kümmel” means caraway. Although the origins of the sandwich are fuzzy, the roll has been attributed to a German baker named William Whar, who brought it with him when he immigrated to Buffalo, New York, in the late 1800s.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Micah Morton

What Differentiates a Beef on Weck from a French Dip Sandwich?

This sandwich can seem like a French dip: The beef for both is thinly sliced, both are served with jus for dipping, and both are heavily seasoned with herby spices and pepper. The difference between the two lies with the roll. French dip sandwiches are served on crusty French rolls or baguettes. Beef on weck, on the other hand, is served on a kummelweck roll.

If You’re Making a Beef on Weck, a Few Tips

  • Use whatever horseradish is available. I chose to use prepared horseradish for the cream for ease, but if you have fresh horseradish, using it will take this to the next level.
  • Add more flavor to the jus. I like to add a couple of dried porcini mushrooms to the jus while it simmers on the stove.

Beef on Weck Recipe

Perfectly rare beef is thinly sliced and smeared with horseradish cream. It’s all stacked on a toasted and salted kaiser roll with caraway seeds and a side of jus. Is your mouth watering yet?

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 50 minutes

Serves 5 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the beef and jus:

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 2 teaspoons

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    celery seeds

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    caraway seeds

  • 1

    (2-pound) beef eye of round roast

  • 4 tablespoons

    neutral oil, such as vegetable, divided

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 3 large cloves

    garlic

  • 1 1/2 cups

    regular or low-sodium beef broth

For the horseradish cream:

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 2/3 cup

    mayonnaise

  • 2/3 cup

    sour cream

  • 1/4 cup

    prepared horseradish

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For the rolls:

  • 5 to 6

    Kaiser rolls

  • 1 teaspoon

    caraway seeds

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    flaky salt

  • 1

    large egg white

Instructions

Make the beef:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF. Meanwhile, place 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 3/4 teaspoon celery seeds, and 3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds on a large plate or small rimmed baking sheet and mix to combine.

  2. Pat 1 (2-pound) beef eye of round roast dry with paper towels. Rub all over with 1 tablespoon of the neutral oil. Roll the beef in the spice mix until evenly coated on all sides; leave on the plate or baking sheet.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the neutral oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef and sear until all 4 sides are browned, about 6 minutes total.

  4. Cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF. Roast until the thickest part of the roast registers 125ºF on an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 30 minutes.

  5. Transfer the beef to a wire rack fitted over a baking sheet and let rest uncovered for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the horseradish cream and jus, and toast the rolls.

Make the horseradish cream and jus:

  1. Finely chop 2 garlic cloves and place in a medium bowl. Add 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 2/3 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup prepared horseradish, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to combine.

  2. Peel and slice 1 medium yellow onion into 1/2-inch thick rounds and separate the rings. Thinly slice 3 large garlic cloves. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon neutral oil to the Dutch oven (no need to clean) and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add 1 1/2 cups beef broth and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Add any accumulated juices from the roast. Taste and season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

Make the rolls:

  1. Split 5 to 6 Kaiser rolls with a serrated knife. Place each half cut-side down on a baking sheet in a single layer. Brush the rolls with egg white. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon caraway seeds and 3/4 teaspoon flaky salt over the rolls. Bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

  2. Assemble the sandwiches: Thinly slice the beef across the grain. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the horseradish cream onto the cut side of the top halves of each roll. Dip the beef in the jus and divide among the bottom halves of the rolls (or just place the sliced beef on the rolls and serve the jus on the side for dipping instead). Top with the onions if desired and close the sandwiches with the top halves of the rolls. Serve with the remaining horseradish cream on the side.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The beef, horseradish cream, and jus can be made up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate in separate airtight containers, leaving the beef unsliced. Let the beef come up to room temperature before slicing; reheat the jus.

Storage: Refrigerate the beef, jus, and horseradish cream in separate airtight containers for up to 3 days.