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Roast Beef with Braised-Celery-and-Chile Relish on Ciabatta

Clark Lewis chef Tommy Habetz usually braises and shreds oxtail for this juicy sandwich. Store bought roast beef or mortadella are speedy substitutes.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: makes 20 sandwich halves

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  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds celery ribs, cut crosswise into 4-inch lengths
  • Salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dry white vermouth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 each of whole pickled jalapeños and pickled whole cherry peppers from jars, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons pickling liquid
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 20 slices (1/4-inch thick) of ciabatta cut from an oval loaf
  • 2 large garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 1/4 pounds thinly sliced roast beef or mortadella


  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the celery, season with salt and cook over high heat, stirring a few times, until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the water, vermouth and bay leaf. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the celery is tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the celery and let cool slightly, then slice the ribs on the diagonal 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the chiles and their pickling liquid and the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the relish with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°. Place the bread directly on 2 oven racks and bake until lightly toasted, 3 minutes. While still warm, rub the garlic on one side of each slice. Lay the toast on a surface, garlic-rubbed side up. Top half of the slices with the roast beef and the celery-chile relish. Close the sandwiches, cut them in half and serve.

Make Ahead

The celery-chile relish can be refrigerated overnight. The assembled sandwiches can be kept at room for up to 2 hours.

Contributed By Published December 2004

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