Cook the Book: Piedmontese Roast Beef with Pickled Ramp A\u00efoli

[Photograph: Steve Legato]

This Saturday Gramercy Tavern will be serving custom-made ham and cheese sandwiches at our All-Star Sandwich Fest.

Gramercy has been a longtime favorite of ours, especially when it comes to their not-super-publicized soup and sandwich lunch deal. We've enjoyed so many sandwich-centric lunches at Gramercy's bar, everything from pulled pork to housemade sausage, croque-madames, and more than our fair share of the ham and cheese.

When asked for a sandwich-y contribution to The Big New York Sandwich Book, chef Michael Anthony chose one that incorporated classic Gramercy Greenmarket ingredients, a Piedmontese Roast Beef with Pickled Ramp Aïoli served on focaccia. This a sandwich for those who had the good sense to preserve early spring ramps for year-round enjoyment.

The eye round is quickly pan-seared then oven-roasted to a pink medium-rare, chilled and sliced thin, ready to be piled onto fluffy focaccia with a bright, oniony ramp aïoli.

If you didn't have the foresight to squirrel away your ramps back in April, rest assured that any other quick-pickled allium works equally well. I whipped up mine with pickled garlic scapes and they did the seasonal mayo just right.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Big New York Sandwich Book to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from The Big New York Sandwich Book by Sara Reistad-Long and Jean Tang, copyright © 2011. Published by Running Press.

Cook the Book: Piedmontese Roast Beef with Pickled Ramp Aïoli

About This Recipe

Active time:45 minutes
Total time:45 minutes


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef eye round
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 1/2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10 slices focaccia
  • 4 tablespoons Pickled Ramp Aïoli (recipes follow)
  • Small handful arugula
  • Pickled Ramps
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 quarts plus 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 6 cups ramps, trimmed 
  • Pickled Ramp Aïoli
  • 1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped Pickled Ramps 


  1. 1

    For the Pickled Ramps: Mix the sugar, water, vinegar, salt, mustard seeds, peppercorns, fennel, and coriander together in a pot and bring to a boil on the burner. Remove the mixture from the heat, strain, and—when cool—add the ramps. Chill in the refrigerator. 

  2. 2

    For the Pickled Ramp Aïoli: Stir the vinegar into the egg yolk and progressively whisk in the grapeseed and olive oils to form a light, mayonnaise-like sauce. Season with salt and white pepper and then fold in the chopped pickled ramps. 

  3. 3

    For the Sandwich: Preheat the oven to 300°F.

  4. 4

    Heat the grapeseed oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Season the beef heavily with salt and pepper, and sear it intensely on all sides to form a crust, being careful not to burn it. Place the beef in a roasting pan with the thyme, rosemary, and garlic, and slow roast for approximately 1 hour. When it’s done (it should be a light pink inside), place it on a rack and cool to room temperature before slicing thinly.

  5. 5

    Toast the focaccia. Layer approximately 5 paper-thin slices of roast beef on each of half of the bread pieces. Spread a tablespoon of the aïoli across the meat and top with a pinch of baby arugula lettuce. Cover each with the second piece of toasted bread and enjoy. 


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