The Reuben

I may or may not have mentioned it before, but I’m a huge fan of Man v Food. Watching Adam Richman stuff his face with an ever-escalating procession of greasy foodstuffs never fails to amuse and delight. It also makes me very hungry. American food, particularly the slow-cooked, barbecued variety, is the sort of stuff that’s right up my alley, and I’m currently in the process of fine-tuning a recipe for smoked pork ribs, so stay tuned for that one. In the meantime, I decided to turn my hand to recreating one of the classic American sandwiches, the reuben.



2kg of beef brisket

150g brown sugar

120g salt

2 tsp prague powder (can be purchased online here)

3 garlic cloves

1 Tsp black peppercorns

1 Tsp juniper berries

2 cinnamon quills

1 Tbsp cloves

3 bay leaves


First of all, heat about a litre of water to a simmer in a large stainless steel pot, then everything except the meat. Once the sugar and salt have completely dissolved, add another litre of cold water and chill in the fridge. Once cold, add the meat and weigh down with a plate, if needed, so that the meat is completely covered. Now comes the waiting game. Leave in the fridge for about a week.


3 bay leaves

1 tsp cloves

150 mls malt vinegar

100g brown sugar

1 brown onion, cut in  half

2 carrots, roughly chopped

5 cloves garlic, crushed


Remove from the beef from the fridge, rinse thoroughly and discard the brine. Add to a saucepan with about 2 litres of water and the ingredients above. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 1 and a half-2 hours. When tender, remove from the heat and leave in the liquid for another half hour or so before removing.





Caraway Seeds

There’s a hundred recipes for sauerkraut, and I don’t happen to have a favourite one, I just used this one. I was pretty happy with the results. Or just buy it ready made.



1 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade

3 tsp tomato sauce

2 shallots, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced, or finely chopped

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

A splash of tobacco

Mix everything together. Umm.. that’s pretty much it. This recipe does make quite a lot, but it goes pretty well on sandwiches in general and will keep a week or so in the fridge. Or you could just scale down the quantities. The world is your oyster!


Rye bread

Swiss cheese

Finally.. making the sandwich. In a frying pan, shallow fry 2 slices of bread in butter until golden on one side (naturally, you could do both sides but I prefer only one side to be crisp, and it’s my blog, dammit). Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Spread the dressing on both pieces of bread, then in the manner of an open sandwich, load up one slice of bread with chopped corned beef and sauerkraut, top with cheese and grill until the cheese has melted. Enjoy!



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