Catalyst Cooks’ take on Mayslacks Roast Beef – ‘Jenstyle’

As a result of my onion cutting post, I received a lot of mail about other theories on how to cut an onion.  So I decided to host an Onion Throwdown and host the world’s foremost knife wielders to demonstrate different methods of cutting an onion.  OK, maybe it was the best knife wielder in Bloomington, our friend Bartender Steve.  And yes, maybe it was just an excuse to try to make Mayslacks Roast Beef sandwiches!

I conducted research online for a couple of days, and consulted my cookbooks.

The following is what I think best approximates the “World Famous Garlic Roast Beef Sandwich” from Mayslacks.

The cut of beef is really important.  I chose Round Eye Roast of Beef.  It cooks evenly, it has a nice uniform round shape which is easier to cut into thin slices, and it has a nice appearance on the sandwich.

I bought 1/2 pound of meat per person.  That ended up being a little much, but I didn’t pile on the meat as high as I could have.

Give yourself 6 hours from fridge to table.  There are four steps to this recipe: Dry Rub and Sit; Roasting & Resting; Slicing; and Preparing the Sandwich.

Step One

Dry Rub


  • 1 part ground pepper
  • 1 part Kosher Salt
  • 1 part Onion powder
  • 1 part Garlic powder

Rub the beef with this spice rub in the morning, and refrigerate the meat all day.

(Make sure to rub all sides and the ends, too.)

While the meat was in the fridge, I went out to the grocery store to buy rye buns… Alas!  None were to be had.

So I bought some rye flour and made ’em myself, adapting this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  Maybe I’ll go into how to speed bread through multiple rises and falls some other day.

Step Two

Roast & Rest

I decided to roast the meat an hour before my guests were to arrive- betting that it would take about an hour and a half.

For Roasting:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 can of Beef Broth (I used less sodium/fat free)
  • Fresh Minced Garlic to taste (I used ~6 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Worsteshire sauce

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Put olive oil on your hands and rub down the meat (which moistens the dry rub).

Place the beef in a roasting pan with a cover.  Add 1/4 Cup of the Beef Broth to the pan, insert a meat thermometer, and roast uncovered for 20 minutes.

After the first 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 200 degrees.

Add the rest of the beef broth and worsteshire to the roasting pan.

Press the fresh, minced garlic onto the meat (be careful, it’s hot).

Cover the roast and cook until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 135 degrees.

Remove the roast from the oven and allow it to rest, covered, for 30 minutes before slicing.

Step Three


For best results, slice with a meat slicer or mandoline…

since I don’t have one, we cut it with a knife.

Cut very, very thinly- as thinly as you can.

Doesn’t it look great?

Dark brown crust on the outside, infused with garlic flavor; marbled and pink on the inside.

Step Four

Prepare the Sandwich


  • Rye Buns
  • Pickled Banana Peppers (found near the pickles) – for garnish
  • Prepared Horseradish (found near the sour cream… who knew?) – for garnish
  • Au jus (from the roasting pan) – on the side in a small bowl

Place the meat on the rye bun.

I asked the guests to garnish their own sandwich, but if you want to be traditional- add horseradish and bell pepper garnish, and serve with au jus on the side.

There you go, the Famous Garlic Roast Beef Sandwich, Jenstyle!

Perfect with a spicy, bold red wine – Shiraz or Syrah – such as Parley Lake Winery’s Syrah.  I know of no other that can pair so well with an abundance of garlic and onions – what a pair!

4 comments to Catalyst Cooks’ take on Mayslacks Roast Beef – ‘Jenstyle’

  • Rick Marty

    Apparently you did not have the sandwich years ago when Stan himself served it. Your recipe is way off base. The current Mayslacks can’t replicate either

    • Hi Rick,
      I did indeed have the sandwich when Stan was still at the helm… that roast beef was large and in charge! While I appreciate that it’s tough to replicate, gosh it’s fun to try (and then enjoy the results!) Happy cooking.

  • Lance

    Nordeast–“The Land of Nod”–in the late Seventies.
    We’d all gather about 11:30, drinking “Green Death” Heileman’s Special Export. Suddenly, everyone would line up and Stan would appear at the steam table.I believe those were what are called steamship rounds–those huge cuts of beef.It was great to watch Stan preside over the beef–making you hold your plate with both hands while he piled the meat on. We used to make a game out of trying to engage him in conversation. Anyone who got him to say anything but “Both Hands” won a round on us. The line lasted a while and waitresses would keep the beers coming while we stood in line.
    What a great sandwich! I’ve tried many times and never been able to replicate Stan’s recipe–last time I was there, I was quite disappointed to see that the later owners had changed the tradition.

  • Dwight Dolliver

    Actually Stans meat marinated overnight. At the end of each lunch service, he would start the batch of meat marinating for the next lunch.

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