Do you enjoy cooking and showing your creative side? Fiddling with sandwiches, slicing vegetables, and trying new combinations of ingredients can be a lot of fun. My family just eats up these fits of creative cookery! I love to compare brands. This week I had the chance to compare Sara Leeís Medium Roast Beef with Di Lussoís Italian Roast Beef. These are premium deli meats that are typically sold at the deli counter of larger mid to upscale grocery stores.
In order to make a fair comparison of these deli meats, I tasted each several times without bread. Then, I used both in sandwiches that had high quality grilled bread. Here are my observations.
Flavor:Both the Sara Lee and the Di Lusso meats had a good flavor. They were not too salty. Each had a subtle hint of spices. The Di Lusso Italian Roast Beef had more of a garlic flavor. That would be expected.
Appearance:The Sara Lee had a more uniform darker color. It also had some of that distressing orangey iridescent color. The color showed up when the light hit the meat at certain angles. This didnít look like a color that nature put there. The meat had a slightly textured look with small white inclusions that looked like fat.
Di Lussoís Italian Roast Beef meat was lighter in color than Sara Leeís. The edges were darker than the center, but it had more of the appearance of freshly sliced thin beef. There was no strange color in this beef! It also had small white fatty inclusions. Its texture was more natural than the Sara Lee Roast Beef.
Texture:The Sara Lee Roast Beef had a slicker texture and more moisture. It was slightly spongy. The grain was not pronounced, and it did not look genuine.
Di Lussoís Italian Roast Beef was quite dry, but not unpleasant. The texture was slightly rough, like freshly sliced cooked beef. The grain was apparent, and it looked like a genuine grain.
Mouth Feel:Sara Leeís Roast Beef was not unpleasant on my tongue, and its flavor did remind me of roast beef. The Di Lusso beef had a rougher feel in my mouth and felt like it was real sliced roast beef.
Nutrition:I was able to find nutrition information on several websites for the Sara Lee Roast Beef. They did not show their sources. The Sara Lee corporate website is not user friendly where nutrition is concerned. I never found complete nutrition information for the roast beef. I did find the nutrition information for another Sara Lee product, State Fair corn dogs.
I contrast this with the Di Lusso website. They have an easy- to- find page that details nutritional information for many of their products. I was able to see that the Italian Roast Beef is a nutritional star! It has 80 calories per two ounce serving with three grams of fat. The nutritional information includes the ingredients used to make this product.
This week I used both of these deli meat products to make succulent saucy sandwiches. They were a great help, since I needed something that wasnít complicated. These are quick and easy to make. Served with a salad or soup, they make a complete meal that is ready in under half an hour.
Roast Beef Saucy Sandwiches Recipe
1-4 ounce Italian roll
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced Sara Lee Medium Roast Beef
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of prepared horseradish (I use the Brede brand. You may use less horseradish, if you don't love it like I do!)
Slice the Italian roll horizontally. Using a heavy iron skillet, I grilled my roll with some extra virgin olive oil. Brush the oil on the cut side of the roll. Place the roll with the oiled side down into a warm skillet. Cook on medium heat. Watch it carefully until the bread is grilled to a dark brown color. Donít burn it! Take the roll pieces from the pan and lay them ungrilled side down on a plate to help the bread to keep its crunch. When the bread is cooled, add the sauce and meat.
Mix the mayonnaise with the horseradish and spread it on both sides of the roll. On the bottom roll, layer the roast beef. Cover with the top of the bun and press down firmly. Cut the sandwich diagonally into two pieces. You might have a bit of extra horsey sauce to dip your sandwich into!
Beef and Blue
Prepare the sandwich using the method above. Change it up by just substituting Marzetti Ultimate Gorgonzola Cheese dressing for the horsey sauce. Add thinly sliced Vidalia onions, if desired.
Italian Roast Beef and Provolone
Prepare the sandwich using the method above. Lay sliced provolone cheese on the grilled side of the top bun. Place the bun, cheese up, on a microwave safe plate and heat until the cheese is just melted. On the bottom bun, add Kraft Ranch dressing. On top of the dressing, layer fresh spinach leaves, onion slices, and thinly sliced tomatoes. Add 4 ounces of Di Lusso Italian Roast Beef. Top with the bun with provolone cheese. Press down. Slice it diagonally and enjoy!
When you are pressed for time or just really tired, these easy sandwiches simply hit the spot. Serve them with a soup or salad and enjoy your dinner.
When I mention products by brand name, these are the ones that I use. I have not received free products from the manufacturers, nor have I been paid to mention the products by name