Beyond the Standard Roast Beef Sandwich

A roast beef sandwich with French dressing
Photo by Noah Fecks / Food Styling by Frances Boswell

Adapted from A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches (Clarkson Potter, 2016) by Tyler Kord, chef/president, No. 7 Restaurant Group, New York City

This might look like a straightforward roast beef sandwich, but it’s really a celebration of the onion. Here, they’re roasted, pickled and fried, to give you a full range of onion-eating experiences. If you’re vegetarian, you can swap out the roast beef for cauliflower, broccoli, seitan or whatever you have. Or you could make a giant papier-mâché onion, but the sandwich is probably easier.

Smoked French Dressing
  • 2 large yellow or white onions, sliced into ½-inch rings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 red onions, sliced thin
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 4 hero rolls, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 pounds roast beef, sliced thin
  • ½ cup French dressing (preferably Smoked French Dressing, available at
  • ¼ cup fried shallots (available at Asian markets) or onions
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin

Heat oven to 450˚F. Toss yellow or white onions with oil and 2 tablespoons salt. Spread on baking sheet, and roast until burnt in spots, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use. These can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Combine red onions with vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon salt in plastic container with tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously. Let sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours, shaking occasionally. These can last several weeks in refrigerator.

To make sandwiches: Heat oven to 375˚F.

Put bread on baking sheet, cut-side up. Place 2 tablespoons roasted onions on each half. Bake until onions are warm and bread toasts, about 6 minutes.

Put ½ pound roast beef on 4 bottom sides of rolls. Drizzle French dressing on each sandwich. Top sandwich with about ¼ cup pickled red onions, fried shallots and scallions. Place tops on sandwiches. Serves 4.

Pair It

Fabien Collonge 2015 L’Aurore des Côtes (Chiroubles)No. 7 Beverage Director Katherine Pangaro says she recommends this elegant bottling because “the vintage has the structure and funk needed to support a sandwich with this much crazy, but [it’s] light enough for lunch, in case you have to go back to work after.”

Published on August 9, 2017