Umpteenth Annual Corning of the Beef Day

Reuben Sandwich

“The corned beef is exquisitely done and as tender as a young lady’s heart, all owing to my skilful cookery; for I consulted Mrs. Hale (Sarah Hale’s cookbook) at every step, and precisely followed her directions. To say the truth, I look upon it as such a masterpiece in its way, that it seems irreverential to eat it. Things on which so much thought and labor are bestowed should surely be immortal…..” Nathaniel Hawthorne (1844), fending for himself while his wife was away.

Well, Tuesday was the day to get the beef into the corning brine and as planned I will use just about the last of 2011 piece that was sealed up in a food saver bag and stashed in the freezer for what seems to have become a tradition on corning day, Reuben sandwiches with a mellowed out sauerkraut and a quick tangy Russian dressing made with yogurt, grilled on the Griddler and served with juicy dill pickle and sweet potato fries.

Corned Beef Sandwiches for Two

Rye bread, I like the seeded, ½ pound thinly sliced corned beef 4 slices baby Swiss or Gruyère 1 cup mellow sauerkraut Russian dressing Grainy mustard Butter Griddler, cast iron or large sauté pan

Butter 4 slices of rye bread (butter side out for grilling) and spread a little grainy mustard on the insides of the bread, stack corned beef, a little dressing, sauerkraut, cheese slices, and a bit more dressing.  Heat a griddle or pan and grill until both sides are toasty.  I served sweet potato fries and garlicky dill pickles…Yummy dinner for corning of the beef day!

Mellow Sauerkraut

1 bag sauerkraut-12 or so ounces, drained and rinsed 1 thick slice of pancetta, diced (sub smoked bacon) 1 onion, dice 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds 1 cup water Pepper to taste 2 teaspoons oil

Sauté pancetta in a teaspoon or so oil, add diced onion just before the bacon gets crispy, stir until onions are soft, add a splash of white wine (Riesling), sauerkraut, caraway seeds, and pepper.  Add ½ cup water and simmer for 20 minutes check liquid level and add more water if necessary and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Quick Russian Dressing-Blend all ingredients

1 small 6 ounce container plain yogurt
1 Tablespoon Asian sweet chili sauce
1 Tablespoon low sodium low sugar ketchup
2 teaspoons horseradish (or to taste)
1 Tablespoon red pickle relish White pepper