There's more to Buffalo cuisine than wings.
If you want a true regional taste of the city, try beef on weck, Buffalo's signature sandwich. It's a delectable combination of rare, thin-sliced beef and au jus that's piled high on a kummelweck bun, a Kaiser roll with caraway seeds and chunks of salt baked into the top. It's usually served with horseradish.
Beef on weck is hard to find outside western New York. But it's easy to make yourself.
We created a version here with recipes from two beef on weck experts. The homemade kummelweck buns come from Charlie the Butcher's, a Buffalo institution. The beef is prepared by Chris Schlesinger, a friend of the Cold, Hard Football Facts and author of seminal cookbooks like "How to Cook Meat" and "The Thrill of the Grill," which he wrote with John Willoughby, the executive editor of Gourmet magazine.
These guys know their beef on weck. And if you have a single red blood cell coursing through your veins, you'll love their recipes.
Charlie the Butcher's Kummelweck Buns
¼ c. coarse salt
¼ c. whole caraway seeds
¾ t. cornstarch
2 T. warm water
¼ c. boiling water
12 Kaiser rolls
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the salt and caraway seeds in a small bowl. Dissolve cornstarch in warm water. Put cornstarch mixture a small saucepan, then stir in the boiling water. Return the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool. Place rolls in a baking sheet. Brush the top of each roll with cornstarch mixture, and then sprinkle rolls with salt and caraway seeds. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are dry. Makes 12 buns. (Recipe is at it appears in "Roadfood Sandwiches" by Jane and Michael Stern, Houghton Mifflin, 2007)
Chris Schlesinger's Beef on Weck
5 lb. rump roast
2 T. minced garlic
2 T. Kosher salt
2 T. fresh cracked black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 piece of celery, finely chopped
2 c. beef stock
1 c. extra hot horseradish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub meat with garlic, salt and black pepper. Place chopped vegetables in a roasting pan. Place meat on rack in pan. Roast until internal temperature reaches 122 degrees, about 1 hour. Set meat aside. Deglaze pan with beef stock, remove grease and fat that floats to the top, and then simmer stock on stove top for 10 minutes. Strain out vegetables and reserve au jus. Slice beef thin, and then dip into it the au jus, and pile high on kummelweck buns. Slather with horseradish. Serves 8 to 12.