So Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In honor of St. Patrick, I’ve come up with a recipe that is…completely and in no way Irish. However. I figure there are a bunch of you that are going to have leftover corned beef tomorrow and no idea what to do with it, so let’s move to the Deli Region of Americana.

I’ve been a lover of corned beef on sandwiches since…well…the first instance that comes to mind is our 8th grade yearbook staff end-of-year party and Ron R., who I kind of had a thing for, ordered corned beef on his sandwich while everyone else was ordering pansy turkey and ham. So in the manner of an obsessive tweenage girl, I always ordered corned beef sandwiches and also insisted upon corned beef always being in the house for sandwiches.
It wasn’t until I went to New York and had a real corned beef sandwich at a real New York deli when I truly fell in love. You know, those sandwiches that are about 5 inches tall, stuffed with meat that just about melts in your mouth. And there’s no possible way you can eat all the meat on the sandwich, so you end up pulling half of it off and taking it home in a box, constantly thinking about whether or not it would be socially appropriate to start snacking on corned beef on the subway. Or while walking down the street. It’s that addictive.
Luckily for me, I married a true corned beef lover who spent a good number of his growing-up years in Cleveland. A few years ago, he and I visited The Cleve to see his grandma and aunt and they took us to a little joint called Slyman’s. Same thing. A-mazing. We even bought a box of it to snack on take home to Utah with us.
So I have a clearly established long-lasting love affair with corned beef sandwiches. But they were always with Swiss and maybe some whole grain mustard and a pickle or sauerkraut. But it was not until I married my corned beef-loving husband and visited his dad’s deli that I discovered coleslaw on corned beef. I know, destiny, right? I, the deli sandwich freak, marrying into a deli-owning family? I discovered that I l-o-v-e coleslaw on corned beef sandwiches. Really, it’s a lot of what you’re after with a Reuben–tanginess, cabbage, a little creaminess from the dressing. But you get the crunch and a few fresh veggies in there, too.
This is a quick and easy way to use up that leftover corned beef from your traditional (but alas, not authentic) Irish dinner tonight. You’ll need coleslaw (check out our favorite recipe here),
corned beef, Swiss cheese

and a hearty bread. For this sandwich, I like sourdough and I like rye, so when I saw sourdough rye at the store, I got all excited. Plus, it even says on the label “Panini This!” Don’t mind if I do…

Whether or not you like rye or caraway seeds (and my five-year-old is firmly planted in the “not like” camp; he kind of freaked out that I was buying bread with “bugs” all over it), doesn’t it look yummy?
Does it not make you imagine that you live in a big city where you walk down the street and buy fresh loaves of bread like this (I know some of you are that cool) and not drive your minivan 20 minutes to the closest Kroger?

Place Swiss cheese on one piece of bread. Top with as much corned beef as you want. Now, as wowed as I am by those mile-high sandwiches at Slyman’s and in New York, it’s kind of silly for me to pile way more meat onto a sandwich than I’m actually going to eat. So I keep it modest yet tasty (kind of like Sara and I).
Top with a few spoonfuls of coleslaw and top with the other slice of bread.

I heat these up on a panini grill and it works beautifully
but if you don’t have a panini grill, you still have options:

a) Go buy a panini grill.
b) Toast in your oven under the broiler or in your toaster oven.
c) Cook it on a skillet like you would a grilled cheese sandwich.
d) Heat it in the microwave. This is a last resort.
Slice it up and serve it with a big dill pickle and some potato chips.

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