Buffalo is known for its Beef on Weck sandwiches which consist of thinly sliced roast beef piled high on salted and caraway-seeded Kummelweck rolls. This is the best (and easiest) way to make it outside of the Buffalo area!
A Beef on Weck is a Buffalo tradition. (And at least in my family, we always pronounced it Beef on "Wick"!) In this hearty meat-stuffed sandwich, thinly sliced roast beef is piled high on a coarse salt and caraway seed-topped Kummelweck roll. A side of au jus for dipping is a must, and prepared horseradish is optional.
There are a number of local Buffalo restaurants that have a killer Beef on Weck. And there’s even a Beef on Weck trail throughout the area! I remember my dad always singing the praises of Charlie the Butcher. My personal favorite has always been Schwabl’s, which I grew up right down the street from. However, you’re likely to get a solid Beef on Weck almost anywhere you go in the Western New York area!
But for those of us who moved out of the area and are craving a little bit of home, as well as a great beef sandwich, I dedicate this recipe to you.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The Kummelweck bun! Crunchy coarse salt and savory caraway seeds lend texture and flavor to every bite.
- Warm roast beef, piled high! There’s tons of flavor in every single bite.
- In just 20 minutes you’ll be enjoying a hot, delicious sandwich that will bring you back to Buffalo with every bite.
The Best Homemade Buffalo Beef on Weck Recipe
The beef part of this recipe was the easy part. Growing up I probably watched my mom heat thinly sliced roast beef from the deli in steaming hot beef consommé about 100 times. She’d stack the meat onto store-bought Kimmelweck rolls, and it was as easy as that!
The issue is that outside of the Buffalo area, it’s hard to find this type of roll. It got to the point where I was going to have them shipped down to Florida from Buffalo (of course paying a premium!), but then I got to thinking about how to easily make them.
If you start with a Kaiser roll, you’re almost there! A simple dusting of coarse salt and caraway seeds on top is all you need. And the best way to make the toppings stick is with a little egg white wash and a quick stint in the oven.
This recipe lets you bring this delicious classic Buffalo sandwich to you no matter where you are. We all deserve a taste of home.
And if you’re not from Buffalo, get on this! You’re going to love it.
- Kaiser rolls
- Egg white lightly beaten with water to make an eggwash
- Coarse kosher salt
- Caraway seeds
- Prepared horseradish
- Sour cream
- Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Beef consommé
- Deli-sliced roast beef
How to Make Kimmelweck Rolls From Kaiser Rolls:
- Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a baking tray with a silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Place the Kaiser rolls on the prepared tray. Lightly brush the tops with eggwash.
- Sprinkle on the salt.
- And now the caraway seeds.
- Bake the rolls for 7 minutes.
How to Heat Sliced Roast Beef in Consommé:
- Add the beef consommé to a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Once simmering, add the beef (working in batches) to the liquid to warm it up, about 2 minutes.
- After you transform a Kaiser roll into a Kimmelweck roll, I recommend eating it the same day for maximum freshness.
- Only heat as much beef as you plan on eating to avoid having to keep re-heating it.
- Once you assemble the sandwiches, serve them immediately. Otherwise, the au jus that’s on the beef can make them soggy.
Buffalo Beef on Weck FAQs
What Meat is Used for Beef on Weck?
Roast beef! You can roast your own cut of beef, such as top round or rump roast. Or you can use deli-sliced roast beef, which is how my mom made these sandwiches for us growing up in Buffalo.
Why is it Called Beef on Weck?
Beef on Weck is short for Beef on Kummelweck (also spelled Kimmelweck).
Kummelweck is a type of bread that’s similar to a Kaiser roll. It’s light and airy inside with a crisp exterior. However, unlike Kaiser rolls, Kummelweck rolls have a coarse salt and caraway seed topping.
Is Beef on Weck the Same as French Dip?
A Buffalo Beef on Weck and a French Dip are very similar sandwiches! Beef is the main star of both, and you serve both with au jus on the side for dipping. However, there are a couple of main differences:
- Bread. Roast Beef on Weck is served on a Kummelweck (often spelled Kimmelweck) roll. This type of roll is similar to a Kaiser roll, but is topped with coarse salt and caraway seeds. On the other hand, a French Dip sandwich is typically served on a French roll or a baguette.
- Toppings. French Dip sandwiches usually contain melted Swiss cheese, and sometimes cooked onions. ABuffalo Beef on Weck sandwich doesn't have either of these components.
What Do You Eat with Beef on Weck?
French fries, potato chips, or potato salad all pair well with this sandwich. And don’t forget the au jus for dipping!
More Buffalo Foods to Make
- Copycat Chiavetta’s Marinated Chicken
- Homemade Mighty Taco Beef Copycat
- Chocolate-Covered Sponge Candy
Buffalo Beef on Weck Recipe
Creamy Horseradish Sauce:
- 10.5 ounce can beef consommé
- 1 ¼ pounds deli-sliced roast beef
Make the Kimmelweck Rolls:
- Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a baking tray with a silpat baking mat or parchment paper.
- Place the Kaiser rolls on the prepared tray. Lightly brush the tops with eggwash and sprinkle on the salt and caraway seeds.
- Bake the rolls for 7 minutes.
Make the Creamy Horseradish Sauce:
- Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until serving.
Heat the Beef:
- Add the beef consommé to a small saucepan over medium heat. Once simmering, add the beef (working in batches) to the liquid to warm it up, about 2 minutes.
Assemble the Sandwiches and Serve:
- Slice the Kimmelweck rolls in half, slather one side with horseradish sauce (if desired), and pile on the roast beef.
- Serve immediately, along with warm beef consommé for dipping.
- What Type of Beef to Use: For these sandwiches, you can roast your own cut of beef, such as top round or rump roast. Growing up in Buffalo, when my mom made these sandwiches for us she always used thinly sliced roast beef from the deli (it’s a huge time-saver!). I like to use Boar’s Head, which is available in my area at Publix.
- Horseradish Sauce: This sauce is completely optional, and if you want you can just use prepared horseradish instead. I'll be honest, I'm not usually one for the flavor of horseradish, but I really like this creamy sauce. Sometimes I add it to my Beef on Weck, and sometimes I leave it off!
- Make the Rolls the Same Day You Want to Eat These: After you transform a Kaiser roll into a Kimmelweck roll, I recommend eating it the same day for maximum freshness. Otherwise the top starts to lose its crispness.
- This Sandwich is Best Enjoyed Right After Making It: Once you assemble the sandwiches, they’re best eaten right away so the au jus that’s on the beef doesn’t make them soggy.