Roast Beef Sandwich

I have a confession to make — I make roast beef specifically for the sandwiches. As good as it is warm, dripping with juices and fresh from the oven, roast beef takes on an entirely different identity when it’s cold, thinly sliced and piled high on top of good bread. Another reason I love making roast beef sandwiches? Horseradish. I can’t get enough of the stuff and truthfully, can’t find a better application (outside of prime rib) than when its teamed up with creamy mayonnaise inside of a sandwich.

Curious about what type of cheese people typically ask for on their roast beef sandwiches, I asked the checkout guy at the supermarket what he would choose. After a momentary pause he looked at me with a puzzled expression and responded sheepishly with,”Cheddar?” After asking several more of my friends and family the same question, I came away with similar, unsure responses. Realizing that sandwiches, like ones favorite pizza toppings, are very much tied to individual tastes, I figured there was no use trying to produce an archetypical version and decided to experiment. So, with some leftover dill from my Turkish stuffed grape leaves and what was left of a container of cream cheese in the fridge, I put together this piquant spread that adds a flavorful twist to an old favorite.

I’ve gone with something less traditional here, but what do you think belongs on a roast beef sandwich?


When making the dill horseradish spread, feel free to adjust each flavor component to your own taste. I personally love the sinus-clearing heat that comes from extra horseradish. Also, if you’re concerned about keeping your breath somewhat tolerable after eating this sandwich, I suggest running the sliced red onion under cold water to remove its harsh bite.


  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chopped dill
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2/3 lb. rare roast beef sliced as thinly as possible
  • 4 slices pain au levain, whole wheat or rye bread, lightly toasted
  • 1 medium sized ripe tomato, sliced into rounds
  • 4 leaves butter or red leaf lettuce
  • 1/2 a small red onion, sliced paper thin
  • Dijon mustard
  • Mayonnaise


  1. Prepare the spread: In a small bowl, whisk to combine the cream cheese, dill, horseradish, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season the spread to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Assemble the sandwiches: In a small, fine mesh sieve, add the thinly sliced red onion and rinse under cold running water for few seconds. Drain and set aside. Arrange the slices of bread on a cutting board and spread a light layer of mayonnaise and dijon mustard on each half. Add a generous layer of dill horseradish spread to each bottom slice of bread before adding the lettuce, roast beef, tomato and red onion. Place the top layer of bread and serve.

Makes two large sandwiches

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  1. I cannot agree with you more…I also make roast beef just for sandwiches…it is just the best!!!

  2. YUM! I can’t wait to give this a try!

  3. Found your new blog on Tastespotting: Everything looks amazing!

    Good luck, and welcome to the wonderful world of food blogging.

  4. that looks like one hearty and tasty sandwich!

  5. Thanks for all the compliments. I feel lucky to have such accomplished food bloggers reading my site.

  6. This sounds like a dream sandwich. Horseradish + Dill? Have you read my mind? Probably two of my favorite flavors ever. On roast beef? Yes, please.

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