Beef On Weck

Thinly sliced roast beef served on a kaiser roll that is seasoned with coarse salt and caraway seeds – a Buffalo tradition.

Beef on Weck -
Being from Buffalo I thought it was only fitting that I do a recipe that originated in Buffalo, Beef On Weck.  Beef On Weck is thinly sliced roast beef on a kummelweck roll.  Kummelweck rolls are kaiser rolls that are topped with coarse salt and caraway seeds.
There are restaurants in the area that are known for their Beef On Weck.  These restaurants have been around for years and draw in weekly patrons just to dine on these delicious sandwiches.  I remember when we were living out of the area and I would mention this sandwich to someone and they would have no idea what I was talking about. So to capture a bit (or bite) of home I would have them over for dinner and cook them Beef On Weck.  I also loved cooking it because there is a distinct smell that lingers in the kitchen when the beef cooks.  The smell always transported me back to Buffalo and I would remember Sunday dinner with my great grandmother.  She always cooked it slow throughout the day.  I would walk in to her house and I would immediately capture the smell of the beef cooking, and I couldn’t wait to eat.
Typically this would be cooked slowly in the oven at 325 or 350 degrees for several hours.  This is also good to put in the crock pot and let cook all day.
Being a busy mom and wanting to provide my meat and potato husband with his weekly dose of beef I  don’t always have all day to let it cook while chasing two babies.  I have an improvised version that gets the beef cooked quicker and is just as tasty.
This is a great sandwich to prepare for a picnic or BBQ.  The meat can actually be made ahead of time and warmed up the next day so there is worry free cooking when entertaining guests.  These sandwiches are also good cold too.  

Enjoy a taste of Buffalo!

Beef on Weck -


Beef On Weck

Beef on Weck – a Buffalo tradition.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings



  • 8 kaiser rolls or hard rolls
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons caraway Seeds

Roast Beef

  • 34lb top round roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar


  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl mix together kosher salt and caraway seeds.
  3. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush each roll with egg whites and sprinkle the tops with salt and caraway seed mixture.
  4. Set each roll on cookie sheet. Bake rolls for 3 minutes until top has set. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  6. Brush roast with vinegar and rub roast with salt and pepper.
  7. Set roast on rack in a roasting pan. Cook roast for 20 minutes.
  8. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and let cook for an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours basting occasionally.
  9. Use a meat thermometer to check internal temperature of roast. Cook until roast is 130 degrees for rare, 140-150 for medium, 155 for medium well, 160 for well done.
  10. Let roast sit for 10 minutes to rest. While meat is resting, strain pan drippings in to bowl. Serve as au jus or add flour and water to make gravy.
  11. Thinly carve meat and toss in au jus.
  12. Add desired amount of meat to rolls and serve.
  13. Serve with optional horseradish and a pickle on the side.


Alternative cooking methods —
For all day slow cooking, cook at 325 degrees until roast reaches desired temperature or cook in the crock pot on low for 8-10 hours.

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  1. Thank you so much,
    I grew up south of buffalo and love these! I now live in CO. and people look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them about this awesome samwich


  2. Curious about the purpose of the vinegar when roasting the beef — that’s something I’ve never run across anywhere. Can you elaborate on that?

    P.S. Rochester girl here — beef on weck is not as common as you’d think here, even though we’re just down the road from Buff.

    1. Hi Nicole! Thanks so much for your comment. My great-grandmother always added vinegar when cooking the roast beef so that is why I do the same. It gives the beef and pan gravy a distinct flavor and smells delicious when cooking. So nice to hear from another Western New Yorker, Rochester is about an hour from me. I used to live in the Syracuse area too so I frequently pass through Rochester going back and forth on the 90. Beef on Weck is definitely a Buffalo thing with some some popular recipes such as Charlie the Butcher and Schwabels featuring this local favorite! If you are ever in the Buffalo area I definitely recommend trying a Beef on Weck from either of those restaurants for a taste of Buffalo. 🙂

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