For reasons I cannot explain, beef on a bun makes me giddy.
Although I’ve lived in Calgary for nearly a quarter of a century, I am still not much of a Stampede gal. I loathe country and western music and only manage to endure those 10 long days because I was basically hogtied into Stampede submission after endless years of trying to swim against the tide.
But mention beef on a bun and I’m two stepping all over it! Maybe because it’s just darn good comfort food.
You really can’t throw a stone in Cowtown during Stampede without hitting beef on a bun! This quintessential Stampede fare is not only abundant, it’s a good get, especially as far as Stampede grub goes. How can you go wrong when you combine tender, juicy beef with BBQ sauce, piled on a bun? Throw in baked beans and coleslaw and well, you already had me at ‘beef on a bun’….
But maybe you can’t get to a Stampede BBQ, or perhaps you just have a yen for some beef on a bun? So why not make your own?
Although it’s really hard to mess up beef on a bun, it can take hours to make; time the average person just doesn’t have to spare. My version uses deli sliced roast beef that is cooked for a mere 15 minutes in my original Hickory smoked PBJ BBQ sauce. It’s quick and easy, with a little flavour twist, while still preserving that authentic, western taste.
Traditionally, beef on a bun is served with baked beans and coleslaw. This recipe incorporates the coleslaw and baked beans right into the sandwich. Albeit a little messy, what you wrangle together in the end is a delicious, no-fuss and portable sammie – no need for balancing plates of beans and coleslaw on your lap. Just be sure to have lots of napkins on hand!
And for my friend Sue, who is no fan of red meat, I have created a chicken option. Use a deli sliced hickory smoked chicken breast and you can’t even tell the difference!
Speedy Beef (or Chicken) on a Bun with Hickory Smoked PBJ BBQ Sauce, Artichoke & Red Pepper Slaw and Maple Baked Bean Aioli
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
600 grams (2 pkgs) deli sliced natural roast beef or hickory smoked chicken breast (I use Maple Leaf Natural Selections)
6 whole wheat or white kaiser buns
Hickory Smoked PBJ BBQ sauce:
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp. horseradish
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 Tbsp. molasses
1/3 cup lime juice from concentrate
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. crushed or pureed garlic
2 tsp. hickory liquid smoke flavour
Red pepper and Artichoke Slaw:
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
340 g/12 oz. pkg of broccoli slaw
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp sugar
2/3 cup roasted red pepper (from jar), well drained, and finely chopped (I use Mezzetta brand)
2/3 cup (from jar) marinated artichoke hearts, well drained and finely chopped
Maple baked bean aioli:
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s)
2/3 cup canned maple brown beans, strained (reserve 2 tsp of the liquid to add)
½ tsp. crushed or pureed garlic
1 Tbsp. tamed jalapenos (I use Mezzetta), finely chopped
- Mix all PBJ BBQ sauce ingredients together in medium saucepan over medium heat and stir together with a whisk. Reduce to low and add beef or chicken. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes stirring regularly.
- Meanwhile, mix red pepper and artichoke slaw ingredients together. Set aside
- In a separate bowl, crush beans with a fork (until they are a thick paste consistency) and then mix remaining maple baked bean aioli ingredients together.
- When beef is done, drain through sieve. Discard remaining sauce (if you like it extra saucy, reserve a little to add to sandwich as desired).
- Assembly: slice buns in half horizontally. On bottom side of bun add baked bean aioli, then meat, then coleslaw mixture, dividing ingredients between 6 buns. Serve immediately.
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Terri is a competitive home cook and baker, recipe developer, food writer, and cake decorator. Her original and award winning recipes have been published in Taste of Home magazine, Saltscape Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Family Circle Hometown Cooking Cookbook, The Old Farmer’s Almanac Readers’ Best Recipes 25th Anniversary Edition Cookbook, Safeway Destination Cheese Champions, among other publications and on several websites. She also contributes a monthly food & recipe column to The Rocky Ridge Royal Oak Community newsletter. She is a happily married mom of two that loves everything food. By day she works as a Project Manager in the health care field.