PaniniRoast beef panini with a rye jus dipping sauce. Photo courtesy of McCormick.




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January 2008

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Meat & Poultry

Recipe: “Rye On Rye” Roast Beef Panini

With Sage-Horseradish Mayonnaise & Rye Jus Dipping Sauce


Sage and rye whiskey are two powerful, American flavors that call up fall and winter dishes, from soups to breads to condiments and sauces to stuffings. Sage is a wonderful culinary herb, not used often enough in most households. It is an excellent complement to the dry, gutsy nature of rye whiskey, a historic American distillate poised for a great renaissance. Rye was the prevalent whiskey of the northeastern U.S. until the Prohibition; after the repeal of Prohibition, it never recovered, as other spirits like Scotch and Bourbon gained in popularity. Rye is distilled from at least 51% rye mash, as opposed to at least 51% corn mash for Bourbon; it is similar to Bourbon though a bit more peppery and bitter. Learn more about whiskey, and how rye differs from Bourbon, Canadian, Irish and Scotch whiskies.

While elegant dishes can be made with rye and sage accents, here’s a recipe for an everyday “Rye on Rye” Roast Beef Panini, crossing the classic Italian sandwich with the all-American roast beef sandwich. We add a bit of British horseradish dressing in the form of a sage-horseradish mayonnaise, and serve it with a rye whiskey-infused au jus dipping sauce.

The best way to crush sage leaves is to rub them between the palms of one’s hands, hence, the term “rubbed sage.” It maintains the velvety appearance of the whole leaf. When purchasing dried spices, rubbed sage is the crumbled, as opposed to ground, leaf.

The sage and rye whiskey combination is one of McCormick’s 10 flavor trends for 2008. See the other flavor trends.


  • Fresh Sage1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
  • 1/3 cup rye whiskey*
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage, divided
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 8 slices hearty rye bread with seeds
    (1/2-inch thick)
  • 1 pound thinly sliced deli roast beef
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained and sliced
  • 2 cups arugula leaves

*If you don’t have rye, you can substitute Bourbon.


  1. Preheat electric panini maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Meanwhile, mix beef broth, rye whiskey and 1 teaspoon of the sage in medium saucepan. Bring to simmer on medium heat. Set aside, keeping au jus warm while preparing sandwiches.
  2. Mix mayonnaise, horseradish and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sage in small bowl. Lightly brush 1 side of each slice of bread with olive oil. Place bread, oiled side down, on a clean work surface. Spread top of each slice with 1 tablespoon of sage mayonnaise. Top 4 bread slices with roast beef, red bell peppers and arugula. Top each with second slice of bread, oiled side up.
  3. Place 2 sandwiches at a time on preheated panini maker. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until bread is crisp and dark golden brown. Cut each sandwich in half. Serve with au jus for dipping.

Makes 4 servings.


Recipe and photo © McCormick & Company. All rights reserved. All other material Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. 

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