Sandwich Essentials: Deli Style Cold Roast Beef

Andy Anderson !


I love hot roast-beef sandwiches (think Phili cheese steak); however, I also love a good deli sandwich, made with some great beef, and served cold. You need the right kind of cut of beef and the right kind of spices, but we will get into that in the recipe.

One more thing, at the last minute, I decided to add the horseradish, and it really made a difference. It gives the roast a subtle bite.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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3 Hr
1 Hr 30 Min



  • 1 - 2 lb
    roast, more on this later
  • 2 Tbsp
    olive oil, extra virgin variety
  • 2 clove
    baked garlic
  • 1 Tbsp
    horseradish sauce
  • 2 tsp
    salt, kosher variety, fine grind
  • 1 tsp
    white pepper, freshly ground

How to Make Sandwich Essentials: Deli Style Cold Roast Beef



    My primary purpose for this roast is to make cold roast beef sandwiches, so we want a roast that does not have a lot of fat.
    On the other hand, a roast served hot needs plenty of marbling so that the fat melts and bastes the meat. Roast beef sandwiches work better made from a leaner cut. For this recipe, I decided to go with a top round. It is economical, and has just the right ratio of fat-to-beef, to pull off a good cold beef sandwich.

    Another thing is that you do not want a cut of beef that is so tender it falls apart. And a top round has just enough of a “bite” to keep it together.
  3. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  4. Add the spices together in a small bowl.
  5. Cover the beef with the spices, then cover in cling wrap, or place into a Ziploc bag.
  6. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours or, ideally, overnight.
  7. Lay a piece of aluminum foil down, and then cover with a piece of parchment paper. Remove the roast from the fridge, and allow to rest for one hour.
  8. Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 325f (165c).
  9. Wrap up the roast in the parchment and foil.
  10. Place into the oven, and bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 125f – 130f (50c – 55c), for a perfect medium rare, about 70 – 90 minutes.
  11. Leave the roast wrapped, and allow it to cool down to room temp.
  12. Place in the refrigerator for several hours (still wrapped), until completely cooled down.
  13. Remove from the fridge, unwrap, and slice against the grain, as thin as possible.
  14. Chef’s Note: If you do not have a meat slicer, then get the sharpest knife you have in your kit, and use slow long strokes to make thin slices.
  16. Serve on crusty bread with a smear of spicy mayo, and some brown mustard. Enjoy.
  17. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Sandwich Essentials: Deli Style Cold Roast Beef

Course/Dish: Sandwiches
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American
Dietary Needs: Dairy Free Wheat Free Soy Free

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