Roast beef is delicious on its own, but cheese can enhance the flavor and make it truly indulgent.
The combination works very well, which is why sliced cheese is added to roast beef sandwiches in most Delis and sandwich bars.
However, not all types of cheese complement the rich and meaty flavors of roast beef.
Let’s look at some of the varieties that taste best with it.
Which Cheese Goes with Roast Beef?
The flavors and texture of cheese vary from one variety to another.
So, not all of them go well with the strong and bold flavors of meaty dishes like roast beef.
Winning combinations are those that balance the oiliness of the meat and add richness to it.
Here are some of the most common options.
Provolone is an Italian cheese made from cow’s milk. It’s often shaped into a pear, sausage, or conical shape.
This cheese is semi-hard, and it’s aged for at least four months before being used.
This cheese has a sharp, nutty flavor and a rich and creamy texture.
The sharpness increases as the cheese ages, and it changes color from cream to yellow.
Provolone melts beautifully when heated, so it can coat ingredients like meat.
It’s widely used as a topping for pizzas, pasta, and salads.
You can also find it in cheese platters, charcuterie boards, and Philly cheesesteaks.
Provolone complements most types of meat.
Since Provolone cheese melts well when warmed, it works well with roast beef.
The delicate saltiness of this cheese doesn’t compete with the flavors of roast beef but enhances its creaminess and makes it more indulgent.
2. Swiss Cheese
Swiss cheese is a generic term used to describe different types of cheese that resemble the iconic Emmental cheese.
They’re usually hard and yellow, often with holes on the surface that are formed during the fermentation process.
Regardless of the variety, Swiss cheese is generally a great addition to meat-based dishes, like ham. And roast beef is no exception.
Swiss cheese generally has a nutty taste that complements the rich and luscious texture and strong flavors of roast beef.
The texture may be semi-hard to hard, and depending on the variety it may melt slightly or retain its form even when heated.
For instance, Swiss cheese like Gruyere will melt beautifully and coat the meat.
Cheddar cheese and roast beef are a staple combo that is served in most sandwich bars and delis.
Cheddar cheese has a strong nutty and salty flavor that beautifully complements the smoky flavors of beef, creating a luscious combination that melts in the mouth.
So, there is no doubt that cheddar is one of the best cheeses to pair with roast beef.
Cheddar cheese is highly flavorful white or yellow cheese made from cow’s milk using a coagulating agent called rennet.
It’s an aged cheese, and the flavor and color of the cheese are affected by how long it ages.
Strong cheddar is matured for at least fifteen months before use. The younger versions aren’t as strong in taste.
As cheddar ages, it develops a sharper and more pungent flavor.
The texture also changes from crumbly to hard.
Shredded cheddar melts well and coats roast beef evenly, adding a sharp and delicious nuttiness to the combination.
Fontina is a semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk.
This cheese melts beautifully and hence works very well in sandwiches.
It tastes good with ham, bacon, roasted beef, and other types of meat dishes.
Fontina pairs well with roasted beef because it has a delicate but evident sharpness that complements the texture and flavor of roasted beef.
When Fontina cheese is young, it’s creamy and easily spreadable.
However, as the cheese ages, it becomes hard and crumbly.
This cheese has a distinct straw color, and you can notice holes on the surface that develop during the fermentation process.
Fontina cheese is also widely used in pizza and pasta sauces and as a topping for these Italian dishes.
Since it melts well, it will evenly coat the entire surface of roast beef and enhance its flavor significantly.
One of the best cheeses for melting is Muenster, making it one of the best types of cheese to pair with roast beef.
This American soft cheese is easily available.
It’s widely used in tacos, pizzas, pasta, tuna melts, quesadillas, cheeseburgers, and much more because of the lovely texture it develops when it’s heated.
If we look at the flavor of Muenster cheese, it’s mellow and salty.
However, the flavors aren’t as sharp as cheddar or other types of cheese that are typically paired with roast beef.
Nevertheless, Muenster cheese has an earthy and nutty quality that enhances the flavor of the meat.
It will melt nicely and coat the meat properly, adding a creamy texture and hearty flavor to the combination.
6. Pepper Jack
If you’re looking to spice up your roast beef, Pepper Jack is the right cheese for the job.
Pepper Jack infuses heat and spice into a dish, enhancing its complexity of flavor.
It’s widely used with seafood, meat, and poultry-based dishes, where it adds a delicious punch of flavor.
Pepper Jack cheese is made with hot peppers in a cheese base, and these peppers add heat to the cheese.
The flavor of the cheese may vary from one manufacturer to the other, with some varieties being spicier than others.
Apart from the delicious punch of spice that it adds to roast beef, it’s also attractive because of how well it melts.
The cheese engulfs the entire meat when it’s heated, adding a rich creaminess to the combination.
7. Blue Cheese
Blue cheese is sharp and salty, and it smells and looks unique.
It has an exquisite blue marbling on the surface, which isn’t seen on other types of cheese.
Just like the unique look, blue cheese also has a special flavor and taste.
It has a distinct pungency that sets it apart. This strong flavor makes it pair well with meat.
This cheese tastes delicious when paired with roast beef because its soft texture and pungent flavors complement the smoky flavors of the meat.
The texture of the cheese also makes it perfect for spreading on bread slices before adding the meat filling.
Additionally, blue cheese melts well, coating all the meat that it comes in touch with.
So, you will be left with uniformly coated cheesy roast beef with enhanced smoky and salty flavors.
Asiago cheese is a specialty Italian cheese often found in the gourmet section of food stores.
It’s made from cow’s milk, and the texture of this cheese will depend on how well it has aged.
Fresh Asiago is soft and white with a semi-hard texture. It has a thin rind.
It will also have irregular holes that were developed during the fermentation process of the cheese.
However, as Asiago ages, it turns yellow and hardens.
The cheese becomes firm, and it also develops a pronounced yeasty flavor.
The flavor of aged Asiago resembles Parmigiano Reggiano, but it’s usually saltier.
Asiago can be grated, shredded, and sliced easily.
It melts when heated and hence is a good choice for sandwiches and pizzas, where you want the cheese to coat the rest of the filling.
It adds a delicious saltiness to roast beef and also makes it moist and creamy.
Gouda is a specialty cheese that pairs beautifully with roast beef, forming a flavorful and delicious combination with the meat.
This cheese is sweet and creamy, with an attractive yellow color.
The flavor and texture of Gouda are affected by age.
Fresh Gouda is soft and mellow, while the sharpness of the cheese increases as it ages.
Aged Gouda will also have a deeper color that looks beautiful when it coats the meat.
Variations of the Gouda are available, where the cheese is infused with various spices and flavoring agents that enhance the flavor of roasted beef.
Gouda cheese melts easily because of its high-fat content.
You can directly add it to your roast beef and heat it till it coats the meat.
Alternatively, you can also use a double boiler to melt the cheese to a creamy liquid and pour it over the meat.
The smoky flavors of the meat will enhance the luscious creaminess of the Gouda, creating a delectable combination of flavors that please the palette.