Buffalo, NY

What is Beef on a Weck? A Western New York Foodie Delight Explained

Emily Rose Kent

Experience Buffalo area food culture with a Beef on a Weck sandwich

Beef on a weck is a beloved Western New York dish that locals can't get enough of. If you're not familiar with this dish, you're in for a real treat, and if you're a seasoned beef on a weck veteran, keep reading for some fun historical tidbits and cooking tips!

So, what exactly is beef on a weck? Well, it starts with juicy slices of slow-cooked roast beef piled high onto a freshly baked kummelweck roll. A kummelweck roll is a crusty white roll topped with coarse pretzel salt and caraway seeds. The beef is often served rare or medium-rare, and the roll is typically accompanied by a side of horseradish sauce for dipping. The combination of savory beef, salty roll, and spicy horseradish sauce is nothing short of divine.

But where did this delicious combination come from? The beef on a weck's origins can be traced back to Western New York, specifically Buffalo. Although the exact inventor of the dish is a mystery, it's believed to have originated in the late 1800s or early 1900s. The kummelweck roll was likely brought over by German immigrants who settled in the Buffalo area. Over time, local taverns and restaurants began serving the beef on a weck, and it quickly became a signature dish of the area.

According to various sources, it was baker William Wahr who brought the kummelweck recipe to Buffalo. His German heritage played a crucial role in the creation of this unique roll, drawing from traditional baking techniques he learned in his homeland.

Despite the lack of precise historical documentation, there is a consensus amongst food historians that Wahr was instrumental in introducing this delectable roll to the American culinary scene. His innovative spirit and dedication to his craft have left an indelible mark on Buffalo's food culture, transforming a humble bread roll into a staple of the city's gastronomic identity.

Now, let's talk about how to make beef on a weck. First, start with a high-quality cut of beef, such as top round or sirloin. Rub the beef with a blend of salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder, then slow-cook it in the oven until it reaches your desired level of doneness. While the beef is cooking, prepare the kummelweck rolls. Make sure to brush the rolls with egg wash and sprinkle them generously with coarse pretzel salt and caraway seeds. After the beef has finished cooking, thinly slice it and pile it onto the rolls. Serve with a side of horseradish sauce and enjoy!

One of the great things about beef on a weck is that it's a versatile dish. While it's certainly a popular choice at bars and restaurants in Western New York, it's also a fantastic dish for backyard barbecues and family dinners. Serve it with a side of kettle chips and a cold beer, and you're sure to win over even the pickiest eaters.

So, the next time you find yourself in the Buffalo area or just looking for a delicious and unique sandwich, give beef on a weck a try. Not only is it a tasty dish with a rich history, but it's also a fun way to experience a slice of Western New York culture.

Now, onto a recipe for Buffalo style Beef On A Weck:


  • 1 (4 pound) boneless beef roast
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (like Frank's RedHot)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 kummelweck rolls


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Rub the beef roast with vegetable oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Place the beef in a roasting pan and roast in the preheated oven for about 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C).
  3. While the beef is roasting, combine the beef broth, hot sauce, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter is melted and the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Once the beef is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Then, slice the beef thinly.
  5. Dip the sliced beef in the hot sauce mixture and place on a kummelweck roll. Serve with additional hot sauce on the side, if desired.

Enjoy your taste of Western New York!

Is beef on a weck something you often enjoy, or have the past? Do you have a favorite way of eating them? Please tell us how about it in the common section below!

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