Roast Brief & Barbecued Beef Sandwiches, Like Arby’s


By Gloria Pitzer

As seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 186). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]


If you must, take the pan with you when you have the beef cut and show the butcher exactly how big the roast should be. Have them, also, give you a little piece of suet too, to place over the top of the roast, securing it with toothpicks – while it’s in the oven, the suet melts slowly, keeping it well-flavored and beautifully basted.


To properly prepare the beef, supposing now that you do have the right cut, put about ¼ cup oil and ¼ cup margarine into a heavy skillet and get it HOT! Sear the outside of the roast in this, turning it on all sides – even the ends, to get the surface of it browned and almost crispy – in a few minutes.

Then put it into the lightly oiled 9-inch bread loaf pan and secure the piece of suet (about the size of a slice of bread) to the top of the roast, keeping it in place with rounded wooden toothpicks.

Set the oven at 450°F – and have it, not just preheating to that temperature, but already there when you put the roast into the oven. Leave it at 450°F for 10 minutes – set your timer! At once, turn heat down to 325°F and allow about 18 to 20 minutes per pound at this temperature.

Check the center for doneness by cutting into it about halfway through. It should be light pink, but never rare! Then move it to cool, covering it loosely with foil. Refrigerate it when it is lukewarm and when it is completely chilled, slice it thin.

Arrange those slices, neatly, overlapping each other in a shallow baking pan. Add the juices from the roasting pan and a 10-ounce can of beef broth plus a soup can of water. Cover the pan tightly in foil and return to the oven at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until piping hot.

OR… even faster, and with less effort, put the sliced beef, drippings, broth and water into a roomy skillet. Put a lid on it and let it simmer gently about 10 minutes or until tender.

Remove the slices to the split and buttered hard roles and serve it with Horseradish Cream Sauce (see Index) mixed with equal parts real whipped cream – or with sour cream – or with half sour cream and half mayonnaise.

the roast will make about 12 sandwiches. Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen to be used within 3 months.


Specialties come and specialties go within the realm of fast food menu selections – such as the “break the hamburger habit” slogan from Arby’s, where they once had a terrific real-beef BBQ sandwich.

To re-create it at home, prepare the “Roast Brief” (above) and, instead of putting the sliced beef into the skillet with the drippings, etc., shred it with the grain of the beef into the skillet with the drippings and add 1 cup each: ketchup, bottled apple butter and Catalina dressing.

Simmer slowly, then, spoon onto split onion rolls. Leftovers freeze well. Sufficient to make 12 to 16 servings.


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Where Did All The Good Noshes Go? – Part III

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