Whether you call it a hot roast beef sandwich, an open-face roast beef sandwich, or a roast beef Manhattan, it is warm, wonderful comfort food to me.
Traditionally in my family, we referred to it as a hot roast beef sandwich. However, some menus of local restaurants listed it as an open-face sandwich. It would often be served with one slice of bread, roasted meat, and mashed potatoes. All of the components would be smothered in gravy. It was not until we started ordering it in the Amish Country of Ohio that I remember it being called a Manhattan. The Manhattan version always has a second slice of bread atop the roast meat. The Manhattan also always is served with the roast meat sandwich forming a “V”-shape and the mashed potatoes in the middle.
This hearty dish is a great dish for a cold, rainy fall day. In fact, it is such a hearty dish that you may want to consider offering half sandwich portions to your family and friends as the plate is very filling.
Although this “recipe” is for the roast beef version, you can just substitute roast pork or turkey instead of the beef and beef gravy for other versions. Chicken, vegetable or beef stock works well for making the gravy for the roast pork version. Chicken or turkey stock work well for making the gravy for the turkey version.
This is one of those plates that can utilize a lot of shortcuts or absolutely none and everything in between. I tend to use just one or two purchased shortcuts: I usually buy a locally baked loaf of bread and occasionally I buy refrigerated mashed potatoes.
I also use another type of shortcut: I often cook the roast meat (and sometimes the mashed potatoes) ahead. While this may mean using leftovers that I have refrigerated (especially for the mashed potatoes), it usually means that I cook up to three roasts at a time and freeze all that I do not use. Yes, this is a hefty monetary investment upfront. However, I can fit three larger to average chuck roasts or two pork roasts in my roasting pan at a time, so why not utilize the space and save myself hours of cooking time later. Although roast beef Manhattans are not a frequent meal at my house, they are a snap to fix if you have an already cooked roast in the freezer.