Beef on Weck Sandwich - Beef on Wick Sandwich

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Some people consider Beef on Weck (thinly sliced slow-roasted rare roast beef piled as high as 6 inches) on a freshly baked kummelweck roll, the Best Roast Beef Sandwich in America. Also called Beef on Wick, an alternative spelling usually used by older people from Buffalo and eastern suburbanites.

This sandwich is a tradition and a staple of Buffalo, New York, as it is Buffalo's signature sandwich. The key to a good Beef on Weck is freshness and freshly-carved beef! In Buffalo, the beef must be on the rare side, preferably carved right off the bone and served on a salty kimmelweck roll. In fact, it is this roll that makes the sandwich unique. Few, if any, restaurants outside the Buffalo area serve this sandwich or even know what it is.

Learn more about the History of Beef on Weck Sandwiches.


 Photo courtesy of O'Maddy's Restaurant in Petersburg, FL.

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Beef on Weck Sandwich - Beef on Wick Sandwich Recipe:

Recipe Type: Sandwich, Beef, History
Cuisine: Mid-Atlantic (Buffalo, NY)
Yields: 8 sandwiches
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 50 minutes


1 (3- to 4-pounds) beef roast (tenderloin, Prime Rib, or eye of round)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and coarsely-ground black pepper
Cornstarch Glaze (see recipe below)
8 Kimmelweck or Kaiser rolls*
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 tablespoons coarse salt**
Prepared horseradish

* Kimmelweck roll is a salty roll that is similar to a Kaiser roll.

** Rock salt (like the kind used for pretzels) is the preferred salt used in Buffalo. If you can’t get this, any salt with granules larger than table salt will do. I used coarse salt.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Rub roast with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place roast on rack in a shallow baking pan, tucking the thin end under to make it as thick as the rest of the roast. Bake, uncovered, 40 to 45 minutes or until thermometer registers 130 to 135 degrees F. Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board; let stand 15 minutes before carving. Reserve meat juice, and carve meat into very thin slices (as thin as you can slice).

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Brush the prepared Cornstarch Glaze on the top of each kimmelweck or Kaiser roll; sprinkle equal amounts of caraway seeds and heat in the oven for 3 minutes or until tops of the rolls get crusty and the caraway seeds and salt begin to stick. Remove from oven and cut each roll in half lengthwise.

To assemble sandwiches, divide sliced beef on the bottom half of each roll, spoon with reserved beef juice, and top with the top half of each roll. Serve with horseradish on the side.

Makes 8 sandwiches.
Beef on Weck Sandwich, Beef on Wick Sandwich

Cornstarch Glaze:
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together water and cornstarch. Heat mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low, and stir until mixture thickens and is translucent. Remove from heat and let cool.

Comments from readers:

I just found the recipes that are from Buffalo. I have only seen a couple Beef on Weck recipes and none of them looked right. Your recipe above looks dead on! I have not personally made them from scratch, but I know a local butcher who makes them. One of the few I saw called for you to brush the roll with water or egg white for the salt and caraway, and one thing we know for sure is they have the cornstarch glaze. Lisa H, Lockport, NY

Here in the Erie PA area there are a few local delicacies found only here. The local version of Beef on Wick is called Ox Roast. It is virtually the same except that the roll is plain (sometimes only thick slices of home made bread) but the cooked in an overnight outdoor roaster made of corrugated steel. The story on the Ox Roast is that it was brought by the railroad workers. Erie was the hub of east-west, north-south railroads back in the day. The story is the guys building the railroads used this method to feed the workers. During my boyhood all town fairs, carnivals etc. included the firemen sponsoring an "OX Roast". - Jim


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