While this is the week for lots of recipes devoted to Corned Beef and Cabbage, I just can’t. First of all, there must be a million recipes for you to peruse online, so why do one more? Beyond that? I’m a fan of Corned Beef, but not so much the side of cabbage. Don’t get me wrong; I love Colcannon, a very traditional Irish dish that combines mashed potatoes and cabbage, I like a nice coleslaw as much as the next guy, and I love this warm cabbage slaw that I learned how to make from my dad. I’m simply not into the braised variety that most folks make for St. Patrick’s Day.
So I’m bringing you my own take on Corned Beef and Cabbage today, these Homemade Reuben Sandwiches with Pressure Cooker Corned Beef. It’s got corned beef and there is cabbage in the form of sauerkraut so I’m good right? Sort of Irish. Sort of German. Sort of All American. Son of a gun…just like me!
The origin of this sandwich is controversial at best and harsh words have been exchanged between families for years. Check out this article on Saveur for the soap opera history and maybe, like me, you’ll still wonder who invented the Reuben Sandwich!
Several years ago I actually posted about this sandwich but I included it in a post sharing how to cure and cook your own corned beef. It got sort of lost in that post about one of my homemade Charcuterie projects plus the photos were so awful I needed to redo everything to make them look as good as this sandwich tastes. While that method remains the absolute best way to prepare corned beef, I’m like everyone else, sometimes time gets the best of me. So I decided today to spotlight it in a post by itself but with the effort I did this week that was both easy and quick and the results were still amazing.
Since I was a bit short on time, my inclination was to buy some deli corned beef. That notion was seriously squelched immediately. $11.99 pound? Oh come on…it’s a tough piece of meat that’s been brined for a week…not a piece of cured gold! So I turned on my heel; found a butcher and was led to a cold refrigerator bin with packaged corned beef. It’s beef brisket in the brining liquid that also includes a seasoning packet to use during cooking. Done; especially on sale at $2.49 lb. Even after trimming the fat and cooking I had about 2 pounds of meat at the end; definitely worth doing yourself!
Now, tradition methods call for braising the meet in the oven on low heat for 2.5 to 3 hours with a few additional ingredients and then slicing it in large chunks if serving next to cabbage or sliced thin across the grain if using for sandwiches. But, tada…I am one of a bazillion people who have re-discovered the beauty of pressure cookers, so I decided to try my hand at making it in my Instant Pot (if you’re un-initiated, there is a craze over electric pressure cookers; this is one of the brands available).
Once again, it did not fail me. This could not have been easier and even with the time to get the ingredients to pressure and more time for some pressure release, the entire cook time was about 2 hours; just a bit more than half of the traditional method. I did it early in the day and it was totally hands off cooking. Is it any wonder electric pressure cookers have become the darlings of the cooking world?
Once the meat is done and cooled a bit, it can be thinly sliced across the grain for use in this sandwich. From there it’s a pretty standard grilled or panini sandwich layered with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing. Before I moved into my current home, I lived close enough to a deli to run up occasionally and order a Reuben Sandwich for takeout. No more; this took little preparation and was so remarkably better that there are no words. Except maybe OH MY YUM!
So, if you’re like me and the corned beef and cabbage thing is not your deal; celebrate the American way with a taste of Ireland combined with a bit of Germany, and indulge in one of these Homemade Reuben Sandwiches; they are simply delicious…and still perfect with a dark Irish beer!
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