Roast beef sandwiches are a classic sandwich choice, loved for their hearty flavor and easy preparation. When making a roast beef sandwich, the right cheese choice can take it from great to spectacular. The cheese should complement the beefy flavor without overpowering it. Here’s a look at the best options for cheese to pair with roast beef.
Cheddar is a versatile cheese that pairs well with many sandwich fillings, including roast beef. Its nutty, slightly sharp flavor stands up to the bold beef flavor without masking it. Cheddar also melts beautifully, creating delicious roast beef and cheese sandwiches. Opt for mild or medium cheddar to let the beef shine. Sharp cheddar also works but has a stronger presence.
With its mild, slightly sweet flavor and signature holey appearance, Swiss cheese is a classic choice for roast beef sandwiches. Its smooth melting texture and mild nuttiness complement the beef without competing with its flavor. Swiss cheese also pairs well with other roast beef sandwich toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and mustard. Overall, it’s a versatile and crowd-pleasing cheese option.
The mild, milky flavor of provolone makes it an excellent cheese for roast beef sandwiches. Provolone has a subtle tang that enhances the beef without overwhelming it. It also melts beautifully into a smooth consistency. Try using provolone cheese on roast beef sandwiches with roasted red peppers and balsamic vinaigrette for an amazing flavor combination.
For an extra punch of flavor, add crumbly, tangy blue cheese to your roast beef sandwich. Blue cheese packs a assertive, pungent flavor from the mold used to cultivate it. Its crumbles add delicious pockets of strong flavor contrast to tender slices of roast beef. The boldness of blue cheese pairs best with other strong sandwich fillings like caramelized onions or horseradish sauce.
Fresh mozzarella adds a lovely milky flavor and soft texture when sliced and layered onto roast beef sandwiches. Part-skim mozzarella works best, as it retains a pliable texture without being rubbery. The mild cheese doesn’t overpower the roast beef but adds creaminess. For warm roast beef sandwiches, opt for low-moisture mozzarella, which melts nicely.
With its lightly tangy, buttery flavor, Monterey Jack cheese makes a great roast beef sandwich partner. It melts extremely well too. Monterey Jack is a bit stronger than mild cheddar but not as sharp as stronger cheddars. This makes it a perfect middle ground for meltability and flavor with roast beef. Try it on sandwiches with avocado and chipotle mayo for a spin on a classic.
Gouda is a Dutch cheese that comes young and mild or aged for a stronger, caramel-like flavor. Young gouda has a light tang that works nicely with roast beef’s richness. Aged gouda can stand up to the beef’s flavor especially when caramelized onions or another strong flavor is also included. Gouda’s signature melty, stretchy texture makes it perfect for gooey roast beef sandwiches.
For spicy roast beef sandwiches, turn to pepper jack cheese. It provides a kick of heat and zesty flavor from hot peppers. The cheese base has a creamy, mellow flavor that doesn’t overshadow the roast beef. Use pepper jack to make roast beef sandwiches with a bit of a southwestern flair. Consider adding sliced jalapeños or a smear of chipotle mayo.
Buttery, rich brie cheese makes roasted beef sandwiches feel decadent and special. The soft rind around the outside of the cheese should be removed before adding slices to sandwiches. The creamy interior has a mild mushroomy flavor that pairs beautifully with savory beef. Brie also helps cut through the fattiness of the meat.
Havarti is a Danish cheese with a creamy,semi-soft texture. It has a mild, milky flavor similar to provolone but with a hint of buttermilk tang. Havarti melts extremely well, making it a great choice for hot roast beef sandwiches. Its smooth, spreadable melted consistency contrasts nicely with slices of rare roast beef.
Nutty, mellow Muenster cheese has a soft, smooth texture perfect for sandwiches. Its rind is usually red-orange, but this coloring is simply added for visual appeal. The interior is ivory colored. Muenster doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor, letting the roast beef shine while adding creamy meltiness. This cheese is a great choice for simple roast beef and cheese sandwiches.
Italian fontina cheese is prized for its intensely nutty, earthy flavor. Young fontina has a milder profile that works well in roast beef sandwiches, providing a nuanced nutty cheese flavor. More aged fontina can stand up to the hearty beef too. The semi-soft cheese has tiny holes and melts beautifully. Fontina pairs nicely with caramelized onions, mushrooms, or roasted garlic.
Gruyère is a Swiss cheese revered for its complex, nuanced flavor. It has notes of brown butter, fruit, cream, and nuts. When young, it has a milder, sweeter flavor that complements roast beef nicely. Gruyère’s dense, fudgy texture when melted makes it perfect for hot roast beef sandwiches. Caramelized onions draw out its nutty side.
While it may seem simple compared to gourmet cheese options, American cheese shouldn’t be overlooked for roast beef sandwiches. Its mild flavor lets the beef shine while providing ideal meltability. American cheese’ creamy texture and orange color are also nostalgic, taking many back to childhood roast beef sandwiches. Look for high-quality, real American cheese, not “cheese products”.
When making roast beef sandwiches, choose a cheese that enhances but doesn’t overwhelm the beefy star of the sandwich. Cheddar, Swiss, provolone, Monterey jack and havarti are reliable choices that pair well with various sandwich additions. Bolder cheeses like blue, gouda, gruyere and aged options add more complexity. Don’t be afraid to try different cheese combinations in your roast beef sandwiches. The possibilities are nearly endless for delicious flavor pairings!
Choosing the Right Cheese for Roast Beef Sandwiches
When creating the perfect roast beef sandwich, the cheese choice matters. Here are some tips for selecting the right cheese:
Consider Mild vs. Strong Flavors
Mild cheeses like Havarti or Swiss allow the beef flavor to shine while adding texture. Stronger cheeses like blue or gouda pair best with equally robust sandwich toppings.
Think About Melting Properties
Cheeses like cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, and Havarti melt smoothly. This gives hot roast beef sandwiches a lovely gooey texture.
Complement, Don’t Compete
Choose a cheese that enhances the beef rather than battling it for prominence. For example, creamy brie cuts through the meat’s richness while provolone’s tang accents it.
Match the Cheese to Accompaniments
If adding spicy ingredients or produce, consider how they’ll interact with the cheese. Pepper jack fits spicy additions while Havarti pairs better with cool veggies.
Soft, sliceable cheeses like Havarti or cheddar work well. Crumblier or harder cheeses can be grated or shaved instead.
Don’t Discount Classic Pairings
Cheddar, Swiss, and provolone are tried-and-true choices. American cheese provides nostalgic flavor and ideal melting too.
Go High Quality
While pricey imported cheeses are special treats, affordable quality cheeses like good cheddar also taste great.
Try Lesser Known Cheeses
Expand your possibilities with cheeses like Gruyere, fontina, or pepper jack. Their nuanced flavors can be revelation in roast beef sandwiches.
Take Inspiration from Melts
Think French dip with Swiss or Philly cheesesteaks with provolone. These combos highlight how well certain cheeses pair with roast beef.
Layer It On
Using two cheeses, like provolone and Parmesan or cheddar and blue, can provide flavor depth.
Cheese Choices for Common Roast Beef Sandwich Additions
|Additions||Best Cheese Options|
|Caramelized Onions||Gruyère, Gouda, Swiss, Provolone|
|Mushrooms||Gruyère, Swiss, Brie|
|Peppers & Onions||Pepper Jack, Cheddar, Swiss|
|Jalapeños||Pepper Jack, Swiss, Cheddar|
|Lettuce & Tomato||Cheddar, Swiss, Havarti|
|Sauerkraut||Swiss, Provolone, Cheddar|
|Avocado||Monterey Jack, Muenster, Havarti|
|Horseradish Sauce||Blue Cheese, Aged Cheddar, Gouda|
Tips for Buying and Storing Cheese
To enjoy the best cheese in your roast beef sandwiches, follow these cheese shopping and storage tips:
- Buy cheese from specialty cheese shops or grocers with high cheese turnover.
- Opt for cheese cut to order from a block rather than pre-cut and pre-packaged.
- Look for cheese with a bright, uniform color.
- Avoid cheese with mold, drying, or odd odors.
- Select cheese based on current sandwich plans to avoid waste.
- Read expiration or best by dates and choose the farthest out.
- Store cheese wrapped in waxed or parchment paper.
- Place cheese in a zip top bag, removing excess air.
- Store in the cheese drawer of the fridge away from extremes.
- Soft cheeses last about 1-2 weeks, hard cheeses 1-2 months.
How To Make The Ultimate Roast Beef Sandwich
Bringing all the elements together for an incredible roast beef sandwich requires attention to details. Follow these steps:
- Select a high-quality artisan bread or roll. Baguettes, ciabatta, and onion rolls all work well.
- Lightly toast or grill the cut sides of the bread for texture and flavor.
- Smear the inside of the roll with mayo, mustard, or another spread if desired.
- Layer thin sliced high-quality roast beef on the bottom half.
- Top the roast beef with tasty cheese choices like Havarti or gruyere.
- Add any other sandwich fillings like tomato slices, caramelized onions or pepperoncini.
- Season with salt, pepper, Italian herbs or hot sauce if desired.
- Close up the sandwich and press gently to meld the fillings and cheeses.
- Butter or grill the outside of the sandwich for a crispy exterior and melted interior.
- Slice in half diagonally and dig into roast beef cheese sandwich perfection!
Roast Beef Sandwich Recipes To Try
Take your roast beef sandwiches to the next level with these mouthwatering recipe ideas:
French Dip Sandwiches
Thinly sliced roast beef, melted Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and au jus dipping sauce.
Philly Cheesesteak Style
Shaved roast beef, melted provolone, peppers, onions and mushrooms.
Ranch Roast Beef Melts
Roast beef, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and tangy ranch dressing.
Roast Beef and Brie Baguettes
Shaved roast beef layered with creamy brie cheese, arugula and Dijon mustard.
Buffalo Roast Beef Sandwiches
Roast beef, blue cheese, hot sauce, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing.
The Importance of Quality Ingredients
A roast beef sandwich is only as good as its components. Don’t skimp on key ingredients:
Select high-quality roast beef that is well-marbled for flavor. Opt for rare or medium rare roast beef with pink interior for juicy, tender texture.
Choose a fresh artisan bread or roll that will hold up to juicy fillings without getting soggy. Baguettes, ciabatta, onion rolls work beautifully.
Splurge on a high-end cheese like aged gruyere instead of basic pre-wrapped slices. Quality cheese makes a huge difference in flavor.
Use fresh, flavorful vegetables like ripe tomatoes, crisp lettuce, and sweet onions to balance the richness of roast beef.
Select thick, creamy condiments like grainy mustard, garlic aioli, or horseradish sauce to amp up flavors.
Finish sandwiches with sea salt, black pepper, Italian herbs or hot sauce to take them over the top.
With so many cheese possibilities, there’s no reason for a boring roast beef sandwich. Cheddar, Swiss, and Havarti are reliable choices, while bold options like blue cheese and gouda spice things up. Choosing quality ingredients like flavorful roast beef, freshly baked bread, and high-end cheese guarantees sandwich success. Approach each component with care and creativity for roast beef cheese sandwiches worth savoring.