I can’t believe it!

After my frequent line of big overblown failures, I did it!

It also has the glorious mark of a good sandwich that was missing from Fatman’s photo–it’s messy.  The best foods are the messiest foods.  Ask anyone in Philly (or Rochester, NY–Garbage Plate RULZ!!!!).

I started the Great Reuben Project approximately two weeks ago.  I made my own sauerkraut.  I made my own corned beef from a Korean beef brisket.


I love it when a plan comes together.

Okay, here’s how I finished it up.

Corned Beef

I opened up my little gem and tasted a little trim of it raw.  It was very salty but had a lot of spice.  I dunked the beef and juices into a pot.  Filled it up with cold water and turned on the gas full.  When it started boiling, I dumped out all the liquid, filled with cold water and boiled it again.  Then I did it one more time.  I then took the beef out and let it cool a bit.

I sliced it against the grain to ensure tenderness.  Gorgeous!  Still pink in the middle.  That was pure luck right there.

Sampling it after those three boilings–it was tart, still a little salty but not overpowering.  But what made it kick the ass of other corned beefs I’ve had was the spices.  The cloves and bay leaves were flashier than Rip Taylor and Richard Simmons in a gay pride parade.


Not much to it.  It was very salty.  Next time I’ll use less salt.  It was still crispy.  More time for fermentation would not have hurt it.

I rinsed it a few times, and it took the harsh edge off.  If I was less eager I would have thrown it in a saucepan and slowly cooked it with some brown sugar, spices, onions and some of these wonderful Korean apples we have.


Hey, there’s not much to it.  As I mentioned before, I knew I’d have to make some compromises.  I took a little jaunt to the E-Mart and Paris Baguette.  They didn’t have anything resembling Swiss cheese, so I got their Bega “Strong & Bitey” cheddar.  At Paris Baguette, I got a loaf of White Rye.  It’s not as pronounced as the rye we know back home, but it does have some oomph to it (for Korean bread).  I also got a bottle of low fat Thousand Island.  Purists reach for the Russian, but Thousand Island is also within the rule book.  Besides, most places where I’ve had Reubens in the South (where I first fell in love with them) used good ole 1k Isle dressing.

I buttered the bread and toasted it in a frying pan with the sauerkraut on one side and the beef occupying the spaces not taken over by bread.  What was funny was that the “Strong & Bitey” cheese came pre-sliced but not individually wrapped.  Sharp cheeses are very brittle.  So, even though they were pre-sliced, I still had to use my trusty knife (made sure to sharpen it to give it a good edge on this occasion) to separate the slices.

Really, I just messily threw it together with a little layer of 1k Isle dressing.  There was no way to make it neat, and that’s the way I like it.  Wet and sloppy.

The “Strong & Bitey” cheese totally worked with it.  In fact, I think it was an improvement over Swiss.

This was my lunch and dinner today, and I’m totally satisfied.  Washed it down with a tall chilly glass of Hite Max.

In your FACE!!!

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