Nothing shouts winter more than a hearty, juicy roast beef. The trick to the most tender, flavorful results: letting it sit uncovered at room temperature for about an hour before cooking. For this recipe I used top round roast, but feel free to use top sirloin roast, bottom round roast, or eye of round roast— they’re all great for roast beef sandwiches.
The pomegranate molasses glaze coats the roast beef nicely and gives it a complex sweet-and-tangy flavor. Don’t worry if some of the pomegranate molasses drips into the beef broth as you’re coating the roast—that’s what makes the au jus oh-so flavorful. To make this sandwich even more divine, I added slices of roasted onion and garlic mash into the au jus.
You can use either mayonnaise or horseradish mustard as a spread for your Arnold®, Brownberry®, or Oroweat® Restaurant-Quality Ciabatta Sandwich Buns, and choose between Swiss or provolone (it’s all about options, right?). I will say that if you want your roast beef sandwich to be on the richer side, you should go with the mayonnaise. If you prefer a more balanced sandwich, the horseradish mustard gives a nice spice and tang. I, of course, tried both options and they were equally delicious.
Test Kitchen Notes
- Prep time 3 hours
- Cook time 1 hour
- makes 8 sandwiches
(3 ½- to 4-pound) beef top round roast
freshly ground black pepper
fresh thyme leaves, chopped
large yellow onions, peeled and halved
1 1/2 cups
Arnold®, Brownberry®, or Oroweat® Restaurant-Quality Ciabatta Sandwich Buns
Mayonnaise or horseradish mustard, for serving
provolone or Swiss cheese, sliced
- Pat the meat dry and let the roast sit uncovered at room temperature for 1 hour. Then, rub the salt, pepper, and thyme all over the roast. Cut the top off the garlic bulbs so that the tops of the garlic cloves are exposed, and set aside.
- Place the oven racks on the top third and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron pan over high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the olive oil and sear the roast on all sides until dark golden-brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Once all sides are seared, melt the butter in the pan. Start to baste all sides of the roast in the melted butter for about 2 minutes. Transfer the roast to a plate. Put the halved onions and garlic bulbs cut-side down in the pan and place the roast on top. Cook on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, until sizzling.
- Pour beef broth into the pan and brush the roast with some of the pomegranate molasses. Let the broth come to a simmer before placing into the oven. Cook the beef for about 50 to 55 minutes, or until the thickest part of the roast is 115°F to 125°F, depending on how rare you like the roast beef. Every 15 minutes, generously coat the roast in the pomegranate molasses.
- Once cooked, let the roast rest on a separate plate for at least 30 minutes while preparing the au jus. Remove the onions and garlic bulbs from the skillet and let cool for about 5 minutes. Thinly slice the onions and squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulbs.
- In a small bowl, mix the garlic into a paste. Return the sliced onions and roasted garlic paste to the same skillet and stir into the sauce. Reduce the sauce over medium heat and simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- After 30 minutes of resting, thinly slice the roast beef and preheat the oven to broil. Broil both sides of the buns until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
- Time to build the sandwich: Spread mayonnaise or horseradish mustard on all the bottom buns and top each with about 4 ounces of sliced beef, ¼ cup of the onion and garlic paste au jus, and 2 slices of provolone or Swiss cheese. Broil the bottom halves of the sandwich buns for 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Once melted, take them out of the oven and top the sandwiches with the remaining bun halves.