I’m totally ready for the “Reuben From Scratch” Challenge, when it comes, Ruhlman. Having a Brine Challenge for Charcutepalooza due the same week as St. Patty’s Day means there’s a ton of home-cured corned beef simmering in pots around the country, and I’m sure there were quite a few of these sandwiches put together this weekend. So I know it’s not original, but this is one of the best Reubens I’ve ever eaten. This is not something that comes together in a day, the result of a “I feel like making a Reuben from scratch today” kind of whim, which wouldn’t really be possible. But you could say that I started prepping for this sandwich back in January.
Since there are hundreds of posts coming out on corned beef and pastrami this week , I decided to corn a beef tongue instead, which I’d never done before. It turns out that there are hundreds of folks doing that as well (a quick Twitter search for #charcutepalooza shows that we’re in good company). So with January’s sauerkraut good and sour as ever, all I needed was to bake some rye bread and whip up some Russian dressing and I’d have one terrific Reuben. So here we go.
- I followed the brine procedures for sauerkraut and corned beef from Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn’s Charcuterie. Both are excellent.
- The tongue was a real pleasant surprise. I’ll admit, I tried it to see what the fuss was about. I had a few slices cold the other day (on a bagel with cream cheese), and I was hooked. It was even better on the hot sandwich.
- I’m not sure if mustard is supposed to go on a Reuben, but I always put some on mine. I used Hank Shaw’s Basic Country Mustard recipe.
- For the rye bread I used an overnight sponge and about 1/2 and 1/2 rye flour and regular bread flour. As I mentioned above, it made two good sized loaves. The bread is chewy, looks and smells like rye bread! (I don’t bake very often, so I was psyched with how this turned out), it has a great crust, and makes awesome toast. From The New Best Recipe cookbook.
- Finally, I made the Russian dressing from Charcuterie, using the recipe for Instant Mayonaisse from Ratio (legit mayo; only “instant” because of Bob del Grosso‘s immersion blender technique).
- For more details on Charcutepalooza visit Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen.