Roast beef

Roast beef is a dish of beef that is roasted, generally served as the main dish of a meal. In the Anglosphere, roast beef is one of the meats often served at Sunday lunch or dinner. Yorkshire pudding is a standard side dish. Sliced roast beef is also sold as a cold cut, and used as a sandwich filling. Leftover roast beef may be minced and made into hash.

Roast beef
CourseMain course
Place of originEngland
Region or stateNorthern Europe
Serving temperatureHot or cold
Main ingredientsBeef

Roast beef is a characteristic national dish of England and holds cultural meaning for the English dating back to the 1731 ballad "The Roast Beef of Old England". The dish is so synonymous with England and its cooking methods from the 18th century that a French nickname for the English is "les Rosbifs".[1]


Despite the song, roast beef was not generally eaten in medieval England: "no medieval feast featured ... roast beef, even in England".[2]

Culinary arts

The beef on weck sandwich is a tradition in western New York dating back to the early 1800s.[3] Roast beef is sometimes served with horseradish or horseradish sauce. In Denmark, it is mostly used in open sandwiches, called smørrebrød.

Roast beef sandwich

The roast beef sandwich commonly comprises bread, cold roast beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and mustard, although finding cheese, horseradish, fresh/powdered chili pepper, and red onion would not be uncommon.[4]


  1. "Why do the French call the British 'the roast beefs'?". BBC News. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  2. Rachel Fulton, "'Taste and See That the Lord Is Sweet' (Ps. 33:9): The Flavor of God in the Monastic West", The Journal of Religion 86:2:169–204 (2006) doi:10.1086/499638, p. 171
  3. Piatti-Farnell, Lorna (1 June 2013). Beef: A Global History. Reaktion Books. ISBN 9781780231174.
  4. "" Archived 24 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
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