The Best Roast Beef Manhattan Recipe

A couple of years ago I was sick and in the hospital twice in one month. I had no appetite and had lost weight.  After being released from the hospital the second time my appetite suddenly decided to reappear and I was craving Beef Manhattans. My daughter did bring my husband and I take out from our favorite restaurant. But the craving continued and it was just not feasible to eat out as frequently as I was craving them. So I decided I was going to make roast beef Manhattan at home.

At first, I was buying roast beef from the deli at our local grocery store and buying packaged brown gravy. And then I decided I was going to go “hog wild” and make them homemade from start to finish and boy was I glad. It took a little effort but it was worth it!

What Is A Roast Beef Manhattan?

A beef Manhattan is actually a hot roast beef sandwich served with mashed potatoes and smothered with brown gravy. Yum! My daughter-in-law makes her beef manhattans using ground beef instead of roast beef. I had never heard of beef manhattan made this way. A Manhattan is just a hot sandwich served with mashed potatoes and gravy.

This is what Wikipedia says about roast beef manhattan.

Of course, there are many versions of Manhattans. Some made with turkey and meatloaf just to name a few. All the same concept, all made as sandwiches and served with mashed potatoes and smothered with gravy but my favorite is beef. They can be open-faced meaning the meat on one slice of bread or the closed version with two slices of bread with the meat in the middle. The mashed potatoes can be served on top of the sandwich, in the middle of the sliced sandwich, or on the side.

Making The Roast Beef

I decided to use a chuck roast but really any kind of roast beef cut will work. My chuck roast weighed between 3 and 4 pounds. I took a fork and poked the beef all over. Then I mixed the spices together. I used 2 tablespoons each of ground thyme and ground rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder. I rubbed the roast with olive oil and then rubbed in the mixed spice. Let sit for 5-10 minutes

In a dutch oven,  brown the meat on all sides in a tablespoon of olive oil. Remove the meat to a plate and then saute 1/2 of a large onion, sliced and 3 garlic cloves, chopped. You can add more garlic if you prefer a more garlicky taste. I don’t. Once the garlic is soft and onion is translucent add 3 to 4 cups beef broth and add the roast on top.

I use a dutch oven like this one.

Cover and roast in a preheated oven at 300 degrees until tender. Mine took about 3 1/2 hours. I like to roast my meat slow and at a lower temperature. It’s time to make the mashed potatoes when the roast is close to being done.

Mashed Potatoes, Instant Or The Real Thing?

I use real potatoes. I have to admit that when my kids were younger and we had a lot of school or summer projects going on I did make instant mashed potatoes for convenience and time. And I don’t care what anyone says they do not taste the same as “real” potatoes. It really doesn’t take any longer to peel, cook, and mashed potatoes. And this meal deserves the real thing.

I use either red potatoes or Yukon gold. Both make excellent mashed potatoes. Just peel the potatoes, cut into cubes and cover with water, add salt and cook until tender. I’m sorry but I am old fashion I just peel until I think I have enough. For two people 4-5 medium size potatoes are plenty. I like to make extra so that I have leftovers. ( I love making potato pancakes with the leftovers). After the potatoes are tender, drain the water off. I add half a stick of butter but you could add more and make them real buttery. Add milk while mashing them with a hand mixer. Add just enough milk to make them nice and fluffy. Usually, about 1/4 cup will do it. But don’t add too much you don’t want runny mashed potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.

The Gravy For Roast Beef Manhattan

I have used the packages of brown gravy. But homemade gravy really is a snap to make and tastes so much better. Here is how to do it: Measure 2 cups of the drippings from the roast pan into a medium saucepan. Measure 1/4 cup cold water and add 3 tablespoons corn starch into a small bowl and mix until cornstarch has dissolved.

Bring the drippings to a boil.  Whisk in the water/cornstarch and continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a boil again. Turn your burner down to low and simmer for a minute or until the mixture thickens. Salt and pepper to taste. This will make 2 cups of gravy. That’s all there is to it. Easy peasy! And tastes great!

Making Roast Beef Manhattan

Assembling the Beef Manhattan:

Layout a slice of bread onto a plate. Load the bread with the roast beef. I like to cover the beef with a little gravy. Now top with another slice of bread. Cut either in half down the middle or diagonally, whichever you prefer. Spread apart and add mashed potatoes between the cut sandwich and then cover with gravy. I personally prefer the mashed potatoes on the side of the cut sandwich. But it doesn’t really matter, it all goes down to the same place, right?

I just love Beef Manhattans. During my childhood, my family would travel by car on our vacations. I mean hundreds of miles, and when we stopped for a meal there was always Beef Manhattans on the menu. Nowadays I noticed that they are not always called Beef Manhattans. I have seen them listed on the menu as “open-faced roast beef sandwich” or “hot roast beef sandwich”. You know it is a Beef Manhattan when the menu states “comes with mashed potatoes and gravy”

best roast beef manhattan

I hope you enjoyed my journey into making homemade Beef Manhattans and I hope you try this delicious entree and enjoy it as much as I do. Please leave a comment below

Have A Wonderful Day!

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2 thoughts on “The Best Roast Beef Manhattan Recipe”

    • Hi Liz, I’ve known it as Beef Manhattan all my life. I would get upset when I couldn’t find it on the menu. When I would ask the waitress she would say “oh you mean the hot roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy” lol Some restaurants do have it listed as “Beef Manhattan” though. Whenever Harold and I go to one of our favorite restaurants we would order the Beef Manhattan. But I do make them frequently at home.


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