Slow Roasted Sirloin Beef Sandwich with Caraway Tomato Sauce

Living in Chicago for the better part of 36 years has exposed me to a lot of beef sandwich recipes. This slow roasted sirloin beef sandwich is the most unique —ever. Straight from my mother-in-law’s recipe box, the caraway red sauce the roast is braised in has the most rich, unbelievable flavor. Truly an Italian steak sandwich like no other!

Finished caraway red beef sandwich on toasted roll and white plate
A rich Italian red sauce spiked with caraway seeds makes the most interesting sirloin steak sandwich.

I first had this unforgettable Italian steak sandwich at my then-boyfriend, now-husband’s childhood home umpteen years ago. My mother-in-law lifted the top of her big, gorgeous steel roaster (I still covet it) and the rich smell that came out immediately knocked me out. And inside looked to be a rich, red tomato sauce over a beef roast yet it smelled nothing like the of Italian red sauces of my childhood.

Get ready to press “print”, my friend, because this is one you’ll want to keep for graduation parties, Sunday suppers, family dinners and more!

One disclaimer. If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I rarely use processed or packaged ingredients in my recipes. This beef recipe does contain packaged onion soup mix. Just felt the need to let you know.

This post contains links to affiliate websites including Amazon. I make a small commission for any purchases made using these links. Thank you!

Caraway seed tomato sauce

Spooned red sauce over sirloin tip roast in Dutch oven.

Crazy, right? And it’s not Hungarian goulash or anything close to it. My MIL was part Bohemian, part Italian and before I met her, my experience on all things caraway seed was zilch. You just don’t see a lot of it in Italian cooking.

Whether it’s the caraway seed combined with the tomatoes or the caraway seed plus the onion soup mix and herb seasoning, everything seasons this into the best beef sandwich!

Ingredient notes: beef roast

  1. The cut of beef you’ll look for is a sirloin tip roast -about 5 or 6 lbs.
  2. One 6 lb. roast will serve about 10-12 people each having one large sandwich.
  3. The roast will take 4 hours to cook (but is even better made a day or two ahead).

Other key ingredients

Ingredients for caraway seed Italian sirloin steak sandwich.
A package of onion soup mix and herbs mixed with tomato sauce is the beef sauce base.

Tomato sauce. Different from whole tomatoes in that it has a little seasoning already in it and is typically thicker in consistency (although not as thick as paste)

Onion soup mix. I use Lipton’s onion soup mix but you can use your favorite brand.

Seasoned pepper. This might be one you’ll have to pick up at the store. I use McCormick’s Seasoned Pepper, a blend of black and red peppers along with paprika.

Sandwich rolls. My favorite bread to serve this on is a French or ciabatta roll because you need something sturdy enough to hold the sauce. Something like a brioche roll would be really soft (although if that’s your preference, go for it!).

How to make Italian sirloin roast sandwiches

Sirloin tip roast sprinkled with basil.
Generously sprinkle basil, oregano, seasoned pepper and garlic powder over beef.
Red caraway sauce being mixed in a measuring cup on a white background.
Mix the sauce ingredients together.
  1. Season the beef.

In addition to the seasoned pepper mentioned above, combine the following dried herbs in a small bowl:

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder

And then you’re going to take the seasoning and sprinkle it on all sides of the roast. Don’t forget to season the ends! (That’s more of a note for me probably 😊)

  1. Mix the tomato sauce.

To a large bowl, add the tomato sauce. Stir in the caraway seed, onion soup mix and bay leaves.

Initial browning of sirloin tip roast
This is what the first side browned looks like.
Dutch oven with browned Italian beef covered in red sauce to be cooked.
Browned beef covered with sauce before roasting.
Cooked sirloin tip roast for Italian red sauce beef.
Cooked beef after roasting for 4 hours.
  1. Brown the roast.

In a large dutch oven (5 1/2 or 7 qt is where I’d start), heat some vegetable oil in over medium high heat until hot. My MIL used shortening but either works.

Add the beef and use tongs or a meat for, brown on all sides about 2 minutes per side. You want it to have a nice sear.

  1. Add sauce and roast the meat.

Pour the sauce over the beef and spoon over the beef. Cover the pot and place in a preheated oven to cook for 4 hours.


Pro tip

I typically double the sauce recipe as it thickens as it cooks. It’s the best gravy. A good one to eat over polenta too!


Slicing and serving.

Blue rimmed plate with Italian beef with caraway red sauce.

Toast rolls in the oven at 400° on a sheet pan.

Remove the cooked sirloin roast to a cutting board and slice or shred. Ladle some sauce into a bowl for those who like things extra saucy (me!)

Add the sliced/shredded beef back into the sauce and toss with tongs until coated.

Layer beef onto toasted rolls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Make it a meal

white bowl of salad with blueberries, feta, bacon and almonds and a white carafe of dressing.

Tangy Blueberry Feta Salad

close up of pesto tortellini salad in dark brown bowl with basil on top

Creamy Pesto Tortellini Salad

two gratins of baked macaroni and cheese on a sheet pan.

Four Cheese Baked Mac and Cheese with Garlic Breadcrumbs

overhead view of a white bowl of peaches and chicken panzanella with bread cubes and arugula.

Spicy Peach Panzanella Salad with Chicken and Feta


Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!


Finished caraway red beef sandwich on toasted roll and white plate
No ratings yet

Slow Roasted Sirloin Beef Sandwich with Caraway Tomato Sauce

Living in Chicago for the better part of 36 years has exposed me to a lot of beef sandwich recipes. This slow roasted sirloin beef sandwich is the most unique —ever. Straight from my mother-in-law's recipe box, the caraway red sauce the roast is braised in has the most rich, unbelievable flavor. Truly an Italian steak sandwich like no other!
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:4 hours
Total Time:4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12

Equipment

  • large dutch oven

Ingredients
 

For the sauce

  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 sandwich rolls, I like ciabatta rolls or small French rolls
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325° with a rack set on to the middle or lower third of the oven.
  • Pat the roast dry with paper towels on all sides. Sprinkle each seasoning over every side of the roast – don’t forget the ends!
    6 lb sirloin tip roast, basil, oregano, garlic powder, seasoned pepper
  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven (5.5 qt minimum) or a roaster with a lid over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the seasoned meat on each side, 2 minutes per side until golden. Resist the urge to move the meat and if it sticks, let it brown a little longer as needed.
    2 Tablespoons canola oil

For the sauce

  • In a medium bowl, stir the sauce, soup mix, water and caraway seeds together until the soup mix is well incorporated. Sprinkle in the bay leaves.
    15 oz can tomato sauce, 1 cup water, 1 envelope onion soup mix, 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, 2 bay leaves
  • Pour the sauce over the meat in the Dutch oven or roaster and spoon sauce to coat the meat. Roast the meat for 4 hours.
  • Turn the meat once while roasting (at about the 2 hour point).
  • To tell if done, poke with a long meat fork. It should feel tender.

Assemble the sandwiches

  • Remove roast from the sauce to a cutting board.
    Use a slicing knife and large fork to slice or shred the roast (it also might be falling apart).
    Add the slices back to the Dutch oven and coat in the sauce.
  • Slice rolls in half and toast in a 400° oven until toasted. You can drizzle olive oil on the rolls if you like before toasting. Use tongs to fill the rolls and sprinkle over parmesan.
    Serve the sauce on the side for those who love extra gravy.
    10 sandwich rolls, freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Notes

Notes from my mother-in-law:
Use 2 5 lb roasts to feed 30 people with four recipes of sauce.
Slice before freezing separately from the sauce.
Course: Main Course, Sandwiches
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

Leave a Comment or Ask A Question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.