The Ultimate Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich Recipe

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Salena Stone

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There’s nothing quite like the savory delight of an open faced roast beef sandwich. It’s a dish that’s both hearty and comforting, perfect for a Sunday dinner or a special occasion. In this article, I’ll guide you through a comprehensive open faced roast beef sandwich recipe, and by the end, you’ll be a master of this classic dish.

When to Serve the Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich

The open faced roast beef sandwich is versatile. It’s a hit at family gatherings, potlucks, or even a quiet dinner for two. Traditionally, it’s a dish that shines during the colder months, but honestly, I’d eat it any time of the year. Pair it with a light soup or salad, and you’ve got a meal fit for any occasion.

Essential Cooking Equipment

To make the perfect open faced roast beef sandwich, you’ll need:

  • A good quality oven: This is crucial for roasting the beef to perfection.
  • A sharp knife: For carving the roast beast and ensuring thin, tender slices.
  • A skillet or pan: For making the gravy or sauce that’ll accompany the sandwich.

The Recipe

Yield: 6

Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich Recipe

open faced roast beef sandwich recipe

Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich Recipe evokes a sense of nostalgia and warmth for me. Every bite is a comforting embrace of savory beef, rich gravy, and melted cheese. It's not just a dish; it's a cherished memory on a plate, reminding me of family gatherings and laughter-filled dinners.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 2 lbs bread and butter roast cut (Why is it called a bread and butter roast? It's a term that refers to a specific cut of beef that's tender and flavorful, perfect for this sandwich.)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 loaf of your favorite bread (I recommend a crusty French baguette or sourdough)
  • Best cheese for roast beef (Mozzarella works wonders, but you can also explore what cheese goes best with a cold roast beef sandwich. Some prefer the tang of cheddar or the creaminess of provolone.)


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Season the bread and butter roast cut generously with salt and pepper.
  3. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the roast and sear each side until it's browned. This will lock in the juices and give your roast a beautiful crust.
  4. Transfer the roast to the oven and cook for about 60-75 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare.
  5. While the roast is in the oven, use the same skillet to sauté the onions until they're translucent. Add the beef broth and let it simmer until it's reduced by half. This will be your gravy.
  6. Once the roast is done, let it rest for at least 15 minutes. This ensures all the juices redistribute throughout the meat.
  7. Carve the roast beast into thin slices.
  8. To assemble the sandwich, take a slice of bread, layer it with the roast beef slices, pour some gravy over, and top with your chosen cheese. If you like it melty, pop it under a broiler for a minute or two.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 550mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 35g

Further Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Roasting: Ensure that your oven is preheated to the right temperature. An oven that’s too hot or too cold can affect the cooking time and the tenderness of the meat.
  • Bread Selection: While I’ve recommended a crusty French baguette or sourdough, you can also explore other options like rye or whole wheat. Just ensure it’s sturdy enough to hold the meat and gravy.
  • Gravy Thickness: If your gravy is too thin, you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water and add it to the simmering gravy. Stir continuously until it thickens.
  • Cheese Melting: If you’re using a cheese that doesn’t melt easily, consider grating it. This increases the surface area and allows it to melt more uniformly.

Serving Suggestions

  • Cold Options: For those who prefer a cold sandwich, especially during the warmer months, cold roast beef sliders are a great choice. Pair it with a cheese that complements cold roast beef, like Swiss or provolone.
  • Variations: If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try the open face meatball sandwich or the open face pork sandwich. The base recipe remains the same; just swap out the roast beef.


The open faced roast beef sandwich is a timeless classic, a dish that evokes memories of family gatherings and cozy dinners. With this comprehensive guide, you’re equipped to make a sandwich that’s not only delicious but also tailored to your preferences. Whether it’s deciding “what cheese goes best with roast beef” or exploring variations like the “roast beef mozzarella sandwich,” the possibilities are endless. So, roll up those sleeves, get into the kitchen, and let the magic happen. Enjoy every bite!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best condiment for a roast beef sandwich?

Horseradish sauce is a popular choice due to its spicy kick, complementing the savory roast beef. Mustard, mayo, and au jus are also favored by many.

What cheese goes with a roast beef sandwich?

Mozzarella, provolone, Swiss, and cheddar are all excellent choices. The cheese should complement the beef’s flavor without overpowering it.

What roast is best for roast beef sandwiches?

The bread and butter roast cut is ideal for its tenderness and flavor. However, top round or sirloin are also commonly used for their lean and flavorful profiles.

What’s another name for an open faced roast beef sandwich?

It’s often referred to as a “Beef Manhattan” in some regions. The dish can also be called a “hot beef sandwich” when served with gravy.

How do you keep the bread from getting soggy in an open faced sandwich?

Toasting the bread slightly before adding the beef and gravy can help. Also, layering with lettuce or a thin slice of cheese can act as a barrier against moisture.

Can I use leftover roast beef for the sandwich?

Absolutely! Leftover roast beef, when sliced thinly, is perfect for this sandwich. Just ensure it’s reheated properly.

Is there a vegetarian alternative to the roast beef sandwich?

Yes, grilled portobello mushrooms or a thick slice of eggplant can be a great substitute. They offer a meaty texture and can be seasoned similarly.

How long can I store the leftover roast beef in the fridge?

Properly stored in an airtight container, leftover roast beef can last 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

What’s the difference between an open faced sandwich and a regular sandwich?

An open faced sandwich is served with a single slice of bread as the base, while a regular sandwich uses two slices to encase the fillings.

Can I freeze the roast beef slices for later use?

Yes, ensure they’re wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and stored in a freezer bag. They can last up to 2-3 months in the freezer.

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