Enjoy a fully loaded sandwich on a picnic this summer. This Roast Beef Picnic Sandwich has layers of unique fillings that provide color, flavor, and texture.
This sandwich is perfect picnic fare and is very shareable. Made on ciabatta rolls, this roast beef picnic sandwich is stacked with a variety of condiments.
A sum of its parts
A good sandwich is greater than the sum of its parts. Certain ingredients are undeniable for a great sandwich.
- Good Bread - You need bread with just the right texture. It should have some structure to hold all your sandwich fixins. But the bread should be tender enough so you aren't wrestling and tearing a bite.
- Condiments - Condiments give a sandwich some personality. Variety helps keep the sandwich from being boring and ho-hum. Think beyond mustard or mayo.
- Texture - While bread will provide some texture, think about what crunchy lettuce or slaw can provide. Or a crisp pickle that snaps when you take a bite. Maybe a potato chip layer is your idea of sandwich Nirvana.
- Quality meat and cheese - Your sandwich is only going to be as good as the meat and cheese you use. Opt for an aged cheese for a more pronounced flavor. Purchase deli meat cut to order.
- Salt and Pepper - Seasoning a sandwich gives a major flavor boost. You don't need a lot - just a sprinkle on the lettuce or tomatoes will make a big difference.
Roast beef sandwich fillings
- I start making this sandwich with premium roast beef. Thinly sliced, it is easier to stack. I like to roll or fold the meat on a sandwich which provides some height.
- Aged provolone is my choice of cheese which has a bit of sharpness. It complements the roast flavor of the beef.
- A slather of mayo for richness. It helps to keep the bread from tasting dry.
Two different homemade condiments add some punch and personality to this roast beef sandwich recipe. Tomato Confit, slow roasted in olive oil and garlic adds concentrated flavor and richness. Quick Pickled Peppers provide a sweet briny snap.
How to make tomato confit
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
- Cut garlic cloves into thin slices.
- Use plum or Roma tomatoes. They have a lower water content which is perfect for confit. Cut the tomatoes, laterally into ¼-inch circular slices.
- Distribute garlic slices and fresh thyme stalks on a sheet pan. Layer the tomato slices on top. You may save a little garlic and thyme for the top of the tomatoes.
- Drizzle olive oil on top of the tomatoes. How much depends on the size of your sheet pan. The tomatoes should be sitting in oil, almost covered by it. Sprinkle kosher salt and ground black pepper across the surface of the tomatoes.
- Place in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
- The tomatoes will look shrunken but they should still be meaty and pliable. If they are stiff, really thin, and dried out, they are overcooked.
Place the tomato confit in a glass jar. Pour the garlic, thyme, and oil into the jar with the tomatoes. Placed in the refrigerator, tomato confit will last 3-4 weeks.
How to make quick pickled peppers
- Have a clean quart glass jar ready.
- Cut off the stem end of the mini bell peppers. Using a paring knife, remove the seeds and any large membranes in the center of the pepper.
- Cut the peppers into ¼-inch rings.
- Peel and slice shallots into ¼-inch rings. Separate the shallots into individual rings.
- Cut two garlic cloves into very thin slices.
- Place the pepper and shallot rings and the thinly sliced garlic in the glass jar. Make sure everything is randomly added to the jar for variety.
- In a small saucepan, add the white balsamic vinegar, water, sugar, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and salt. White balsamic vinegar adds a light sweetness to the brine.
- Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Pour the hot vinegar over the vegetables in the jar.
- Let the pickled peppers come to room temperature, in about 15 minutes. The peppers will start to get softer and collapse a little in the jar.
Uses for Tomato Confit and Quick Pickled Peppers
There are plenty of uses for both of these condiments.
- Add to burgers and other sandwiches.
- Avocado toast is a great pairing for either the peppers or the tomatoes.
- I like to add both to charcuterie boards with some crackers.
- Add to salads for a big pop of flavor.
- Definitely snackable!
Assembling the picnic sandwich
Not that a roast beef sandwich needs a recipe but I like to assemble ingredients so that compatible flavors are layered together.
Add a few more items and you have a delicious menu for a summer picnic - crunchy potato chips, ice-cold lemonade, and some chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
Gather some friends to enjoy a beautiful summer day. They will want a bite of your sandwich!
Another picnic fare - https://tenpoundcakecompany.com/chicken-and-artichoke-spread-sandwich/
- 1 sheet pan
- 1 glass jar
- 6 plum tomatoes (20 ounces/550 grams)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 15 stems fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ cup olive oil (177 ml)
- Preheat the oven to 275°.
- Cut the cloves of garlic into thin slices. Distributed the slices around the sheet pan.
- Sprinkle the thyme stems around the sheet pan.
- Cut the tomatoes into ¼-inch slices. Place the tomatoes on top of the garlic and thyme, side by side, in a single layer.
- Pour the olive oil over the tomatoes. The tomatoes should be sitting in and covered by the olive oil. Depending on the size of your sheet pan, you may need to add more olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper on top of the tomatoes.
- Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast the tomatoes for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, the tomatoes will look shrunken but they should still be meaty and pliable. If they are stiff, really thin, and dried out, they are overcooked.
- Put the tomatoes, garlic, and thyme in a glass jar or container. Pour the olive oil into the jar, on top of the tomatoes.
- Tomato confit is a great condiment and has many uses. Garnish a burger, add to avocado toast, or use for sandwiches. You can also eat the tomatoes on their own for a garlicky snack.
Quick Pickled Peppers
- 1 quart-sized glass jar
- 1 small saucepan
- 1 pound mini bell peppers (441 grams/4 cups sliced)
- 3 shallots (4.4 ounces/123 grams/1 cup sliced)
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 ¾ cups white balsamic vinegar (400 ml)
- ¼ cup water (60 ml)
- ¼ cup sugar (4 tablespoons/1.9 ounces53 grams)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Have a clean quart-sized glass jar ready.
- Cut the stem end of the mini bell peppers off. Remove seeds and large ribs by rotating a paring knife inside the pepper. The peppers should remain intact.
- Cut each pepper into rings, ¼-inch thick.
- Peel the shallots and cut into ¼-inch slices. Separate the slices into individual shallot rings.
- Add the pepper and shallot rings, and the sliced garlic into the jar.
- In a small saucepan, add the white balsamic vinegar, water, sugar, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and salt.
- With medium heat, bring the vinegar mix to a gentle simmer. You should see little bubbles along the sides of the pan.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour the hot vinegar into the glass jar, over the peppers and shallots.
- Let the pickled peppers come to room temperature, for about 15 minutes. The peppers will start to get softer and collapse a little in the jar.
- Use the pickled peppers as a condiment for sandwiches or burgers. You can add them to salads for a little zest. Eat them as a snack.