One of the best parts of travel is exploring local food specialties. On our first visit to see my older daughter, who now lives in Buffalo, NY, we got a chance to sample the second-most famous specialty of the city: Beef on Weck (the most famous is Buffalo Wings, naturally. According to my daughter A, "the third is chicken finger subs, and the fourth is Bison dip, not counting the dishes of the substantial Polish and Italian communities.")
Beef on Weck is a roast beef sandwich served on a very salty caraway seed hard roll with the roast's jus and some strong horseradish. To learn more about the history of the sandwich, look here or in the Wikipedia article here.
A few weeks ago I happened to be making a roast beef and kaiser rolls on the same day, and decided to try for homemade beef on weck sandwiches.
- the most distinctive thing about Beef on Weck is the roll, called "kummelweck." There are recipes for German-style weck rolls, such as this recipe, but instead I adapted the Kaiser Rolls from Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Baker's Apprentice, adding salt and caraway seeds, to approximate kummelweck. (My kaiser roll post is on my bread blog.)
- For horseradish sauce, I followed Thomas Keller's recipe from Ad Hoc at Home. This sauce is mostly horseradish mixed into whisked thickened cream - scroll down to the end for the recipe. I thought it was delicious just as written, but my husband added a ton more horseradish to his.
This was a fantastic sandwich. The juice, the soft inside of the roll, the salty outer crust, the tender roast beef and the sharp horseradish all combined for a marvelous taste combination. My sancwich brought me right back to my time in Buffalo!
Horseradish Cream Recipe
makes about 1 cup
Ingredients for Horseradish Cream
½ cup very cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
About ¼ cup drained prepared horseradish
½ teaspoon fleur de sel, or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Directions for Horseradish Cream
This is a basic, and very easy, horseradish sauce—prepared horseradish and cream, seasoned with salt and pepper and a little bit of sherry vinegar. It goes especially well with grilled or roasted beef, like this prime rib roast, and the Peppercorn-Crusted Beef Tenderloin (page 47).
Put the heavy cream and vinegar in a medium bowl and whisk until the cream holds a soft shape. Whisk in the horseradish, salt, and pepper.
Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 1 week.