Usually when you are offered a knuckle sandwich, it’s not a good thing. Unless you happen to enjoy a good punch in the mouth… At The Steer however, when you order one off the Sandwich Menu, I assure you, the result will be delicious and your server will not slug you.
The Knuckle Sandwich at The Steer is a variation of the Buffalo Fan Favorite: the Beef On Weck. While the Chicken Wing is Buffalo’s most popular culinary claim to fame, the Beef On Weck is close behind in many a Buffalonians’ hearts and taste buds. What makes this sandwich stand out is the roll on which it is served. The particularly unique Kaiser roll is topped with pretzel salt and caraway seeds. This roll is called a Kummelweck roll or Weck roll for short. (also spelled Kimmelweck) It is believed that the roll was introduced to Buffalo by William Wahr, a German immigrant baker from The Black Forest.
The decision of what to put on the now famous sandwich is credited to pub owner Joe Gohn. Just before the Pan American Exposition in 1901, Gohn purchased a small saloon: The Delaware House. Looking to feed hungry patrons, he decided that a roast beef sandwich would go great with a cold beer. The German baker that supplied the saloon with breads suggested using the unique Kummelweck rolls. Gohn liked the idea because the salt would create thirsty patrons and help in the sale of beer. The thinly sliced rare roast beef was piled high on the roll and, like the original French Dip Sandwich was prepared, the topside of the roll was dipped in au jus. Unlike the French Dip however, the Beef On Weck was served with some sinus clearing prepared horseradish on the side. They say the amount of horseradish you add to the sandwich is an indicator as to what level of a true Buffalonian you truly are.
For a Classic Style Beef On Weck head to The Lake Effect Diner. The beef is slow roasted and thinly sliced in house. The Kummelweck role is homemade as well. The sandwich is served with fries and the traditional horseradish and au jus on the side.
In the mood for a more modern take on this old favorite? How does a Knuckle Sandwich sound? This version has the Steer’s house made braised beef brisket generously layered on a homemade fresh Kummelweck Baguette with horseradish sauce, au jus, and fresh cut fries on the side.
Or maybe you are feeling even more daring? The Beef On Weck Wood-fired Pizza is another way to go. Braised beef brisket and cheddar cheese on a salted caraway flatbread crust. The pizza is then fired up until hot and bubbly in a wood burning brick oven and drizzled with tangy horseradish cream sauce before serving.
So if I am at The Steer and someone asks me if I would like a Knuckle Sandwich- my answer would be "Why yes- that sounds delicious!"