I had the idea to make a sandwich inspired by a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania located, Primanti Brothers, sandwich, but things went in a different direction. I was excited about the idea of incorporating crispy french fries into a sandwich. Because everyone loves french fries!
I was going even deeper on a refinement of my sub roll recipe at the time so I knew it wouldn’t be a Primanti Bros copycat, but I figured I could focus on some of the same sandwich concepts.
My sandwich is thinly sliced roast beef, roasted garlic white cheddar cheese, some had crispy, thin-cut fries, tomato slices, and a garlic slaw all on my favorite homemade American-style sub roll.
The attempt I made with the fries was successful but it’s just not something I felt like was worth the effort. I’ll talk more about that below.
As always, I like to start with bread.
This sub roll recipe is the most written about recipe on my site now. It’s also the easiest bread recipe I have.
You can make it without a mixer, and I have the recipe set up so that you can set a start/end time and the recipe will dynamically change the timestamps for you. You can also use the recipe in my bun calculator, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give this bread recipe a shot.
Since the dough is a lower hydration dough it will not be very sticky, so hand kneading is almost as easy as using a stand mixer. Because of this hydration situation, I often suggest this for a beginner’s first bread recipe.
It’s just a good American-style sub roll option to have in your back pocket.
In a recent sandwich post about meatball subs, I mentioned that I bought a new silicone sub roll form and I promised more photos and a discussion of my feelings about using that form to create more standardized rolls. Below are some photos of rolls from start to finish and an informal review of the product.
Why would you buy one of these silicone sub sandwich roll forms? The main reason for buying one would be consistency. The dough proofs and rises to take the shape of the form and it keeps your rolls all the same width from one side to the other.
Note: you need a sheet pan to sit below the silicone form during baking or else it will not keep its shape.
One thing to be aware of is that the silicone form will keep the bottoms of your rolls a bit softer. This is great if you’re going for a soft sub roll like you’d find at Subway, but if you want something a bit crustier, that will be difficult to achieve when using a form that surrounds your bread. I used the form with my Chicago-style sub roll recipe and the top was hard and crusty, and the bottom stayed soft. In my opinion, this wasn’t ideal, but it still worked fine for sandwiches.
Do you need one of these sub sandwich roll forms? No. You can easily make great sub rolls without it. But it really works well for standardizing the shape of rolls that might otherwise have skinny or thick parts. This form will totally make that part no longer an issue. If you plan to make a lot of American-style sub rolls and you have an extra 17 dollars, I suggest an investment here.
I’ve written about roast beef on this sandwich blog a few times. This one is simple, just beef seasoned on the outside with salt, a whole lot of fresh ground black pepper, and maybe a little of that secret savory addition, MSG.
I baked this beef and then cooled it off and sent it through my newish (bought a few months ago) meat slicer. Read on for a recap on the meat slicer or jump past for more information on the roast beef sandwich itself.
I bought this OSTBA meat slicer on sale at Amazon and it seems like it goes on sale quite often. As of this writing, it’s roughly $120 bucks. But when I bought it, the slicer was roughly $107. It’s often cheaper than this so if you have that ability, add this slicer to your notification list because it has more than 6,500 reviews at 4.4 out of 5 on Amazon.
I have used it 5 or 6 times to slice big pieces of meat at this point and I have collected my thoughts into some pros and cons.
Meat slicer Pros
- Slices consistently
- Quick slicing
- Not difficult to clean
- Will slice meat, bread, and even hard cheese like sharp provolone
Meat slicer Cons
- Is not very heavy and it will slide around on the counter
- If you use too much pressure you can make slices thicker
- Takes up a lot of space
I think the biggest con is the sliding on your counter factor. There are suction cups on the bottom of the slicer, but they still don’t keep it from being pushed around by the force needed to slice the meat. So, I end up holding the slicer steady with my right hand while I use my left hand to move the meat back and forth with the guard over the spinning blade.
I do have to report that just yesterday I used this slicer to slice thin slices of hard, sharp provolone from a block and it worked like a champ.
It’s hard to tell you exactly what to do with your money, but I think for me, this slicer was worth the amount I paid. It’s not perfect and if you are expecting it to be industrial quality and ready to slice meat all day, I think you will be disappointed.
If you expect to slice a roast once a week or every couple of weeks and you want thinner slices than you can cut by hand, this should do the job.
As I said earlier, I originally was making these sandwiches with fries, but it turns out the fries don’t end up adding enough to this particular sandwich to justify the effort. Make these and put them on the side of the sandwich instead.
Here’s my crispy french fry recipe for you to try. You can put them on sandwiches if you want, but for me, they were a bit too much effort and contributed too little to this sandwich. They were great on the side though!
This sauce is legit. Try this recipe if you want to step up your cold-cut sandwich game and add a sauce that’s more exciting than mayonnaise.
For this roast beef sandwich, I used the sauce as the base for a cabbage slaw. You can find the instructions for this in the recipe down below, but the whole slaw was two things, shredded cabbage and spoonfuls of this garlic sandwich sauce.
I don’t know how available this cheese is across the country, but if you can get Dietz and Watson’s Cheddar Cheese with Roasted Garlic, buy some. I’m not sponsored here, it’s just good cheese. There’s a “find products” map at the bottom of that linked page, so check it out and give it a shot in your next sandwich. It’s good.
If you can’t get that roasted garlic cheddar, you can use almost any sliced cheese in this sandwich. Cheddar, provolone, or even something like Swiss would work well. I love the combination of cheddar and roast beef so that would be my choice if I couldn’t find the cheese I linked above.
Roast beef and garlic slaw sub recipe
Here’s the recipe for this super flavorful sandwich.
A savory sandwich with a garlicy flavor blast that sets the standard for a tasty experience.
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon MSG (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 to 3 pounds beef roast, rump roast, bottom round or chuck roast
- 3 cups cabbage, shredded (about half a head)
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of MSG (optional)
- 1 sub roll
- roast beef (from above)
- white cheddar, provolone or Swiss cheese, sliced
- tomato, sliced
- garlic slaw (from above)
Roast beef: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F (233 C).
Combine kosher salt, black pepper, and MSG (if using) in a small bowl to make your roast beef rub.
Rub the olive oil on beef and get it coated with a thin layer all over. Sprinkle the beef with all the rub.
Place the beef on a rack set in a sheet pan and cook at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove the beef from the oven and reduce the heat to 350 F (175 C). Add the beef back to the oven and cook until the beef temperature hits 130 internal. This should take somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half depending on the size and weight of the beef.
Let the beef cool at least an hour in the refrigerator before slicing (preferably two hours). Slice the beef as thinly as possible.
Garlic slaw: shred your green cabbage until you have about 3 cups worth.
In a large bowl add the cabbage, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and MSG (if using). Stir everything together until it's fully combined.
Store the slaw in the fridge for up to a week.
Sandwich assembly: Slice a six-inch roll about 2/3rds of the way through and open it up like a book.
Add a mound of thinly sliced roast beef and top that with a slice or two of cheese.
Layer on tomato slices and top that with spoonfuls of garlic slaw.
Close the sandwich and serve.
Some of these photos have fries in them and others do not. The recipe is above for my fries but in my experience, I don’t think the fries add enough to justify the effort required to fry them and add them to the sandwich. If you want them on the side though, well worth it.
Make this roast beef sub at home.
Even if you don’t make this roast beef sub, the standout flex from this blog post is the garlic sandwich sauce and therefore the garlic slaw. Both of those will pump life into an otherwise boring sandwich.
Check back next week when I roast a big piece of pork.