Saturday, August 4, 2012

I'm attempting to imitate Arby's Roast Beef

The flavor is really close to roast beef,  I was really happy with the results. I even got a "OMG" out of Aaron.

Every now and then, I get a craving, for Arby's roast beef. I love it plain, with no sauce. Once the craving starts, it doesn't go away, until I have one.

I've had this idea, for quite some time now, but I've not had the courage to attempt it. So, here we go, into uncharted territory (again). The only thing I have to go on is, Arby's uses a pressed loaf, made of beef and ground beef, that is baked for three hours, I taste a hint of, celery, garlic and onion in their loaf, and I can imitate their horsey sauce, pretty well. That's about it.

I learned a little, about making a pressed meat, style loaf, when I was playing around with Gyros , but this will have to be more moist, than that recipe. I'm not expecting to get this anywhere near their texture, or color. I don't have a meat slicer anymore, but, I can live with thicker slices, so long as I can get close to the flavor. Maybe, I could grate the finished loaf.


For the beef:
2lbs. round steak-cut into small cubes
2 staks of celery
1 onion-whole, peeled
8cups water
2lbs. ground chuck
1tsp.celery salt
1/2tsp. garlic powder
1tsp. onion powder
2tsp. brown sugar
1/4-cup reserved broth-plus another cup to marinate the loaf.

You'll also need:
Kaiser Rolls-toasted
Horsey sauce and/or BBQ sauce

Horsey sauce:
1/4cup real Mayonnaise
4tsp. prepared horseradish
1tsp sugar
Combine and chill.

Sweet Mild BBQ sauce:
1/4cup ketchup
2Tbl. corn syrup
1/4tsp. garlic powder
1/4tsp. onion powder
1/4tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Combine and chill.

Boil the steak, celery, and onion, in the water, until it becomes very tender, about 1-1/2 hrs. Cool. Reserve the broth.(I ended up with 2-1/2 cups) Discard the celery and onion. Shred the steak.(I just rubbed it between my fingers)
In a large bowl, combine, the shredded beef, 1/4cup of the reserved broth, and all other beef ingredients.
Knead the loaf for several minutes, until it has a smooth texture.
Shape it into two loaves, put them back in the bowl, pour another cup of the reserved broth, over the top.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. I covered and refrigerated the leftover broth, to keep any leftover roast beef moist.
Make the sauces, and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 350*
Put the loaves into 2 loaf pans.
Put the loaf pans into a large roasting pan. (like a turkey roaster) Fill the roaster 1/2 full of water.
Bake for 2hours, or until the juices run clear.
Remove the loaf pans from the water bath. Cool completely.
Slice the Beef, and pour the remaining broth over the slices.
Toast the buns. We added the beef, to the toasted bun, then microwaved 30 second, before adding the sauce.

Boil the steak, celery, and onion, in 8 cups of water for 1-1/2 hrs or until tender. I cubed the steak to cut down on cooking time, and hopefully it will shred finer, this way.

Shred the cooled beef, as fine as possible. Add 1/4cup of reserved broth, and all other beef ingredients. Knead, until the loaf has a smooth texture.

I shaped it into 2 loaves, ( I'll be cooking this in two loaf pans-in a water bath.) and poured 1 cup of the reserved broth over them. Cover and refrigerate. I'm hoping the broth will be absorbed, creating a moist loaf. But, I might have a mushy mess. We'll see tomorrow. I think I'm on the right track, as far as the spices are concerned, this actually smells like Arby's.

Next day, something unexpected happened: About 1/2 the liquid was absorbed. I removed one of the loaves, and it was more solid, than when I put it in the bowl. Hmm.. can't wrap my mind around that one. If anyone knows the answer, I'd be grateful to hear it.

I had planned to press them into the pans, to make them smooth and dense. But, since they kind of solidified, that was out. I put them in a roasting pan, and filled the roaster 1/2 full of water. I learned from making gyros, the water bath makes the loaves moist, and inhibits browning.

It was grainier that what I had hoped for, a lot of crumbling. But I preferred the texture of the crumbled pieces, on my sanwich. I think I'll grate it next time. I poured the remaining 1-1/4 cups of reserved broth over the sliced beef. That really improved the texture! Kind of like a Poor Boy. (My next project.)

Toast the Buns. We put the beef on the toasted buns, popped them into the microwave, for 30 seconds, then added the sauce.

They weren't spot on, of course, but really tasted great, I don't plan to alter the recipe. Although I'm going to try this spice combination on shredded roast, 50% round and 50% chuck.


  1. This is one for the First Report Trust Factor Series. It's all about sandwiches in the U.S. For an overview of the ten Trust Factors, see this post.

    Arby’s Feedback Survey

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