I am not big on sandwiches, but I do have a favorite: the Reuben. And while we are still on shelter-in-place orders, headed towards the middle of our third month, I decided to make my own version that included slow-roasted brisket and homemade sourdough rye bread.
I had invited my foodie pals to join me to celebrate National Herbs and Spices Day, which is June 10th, with a new recipe and spice swap. I wrote: "National Herbs and Spices Day is 10 June 2020, so I figured we would post a week ahead of that on June 3rd. I will pair you with a blogger for whom you will select a spice ($10 limit) and ship for receipt by May 15th. Then, on June 3rd, we all post recipes using the spice we received."
Here are the posts for #HerbsandSpicesDay...
- My Favorite Sandwich: The Reuben by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Herbs de Provence by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Chipotle Red Jalapeno and Cilantro Compound Butter by Our Good Life
- Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Everything Seasoning by Blogghetti
- Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Soup by Making Miracles
This recipe was inspired by the package I received from fellow blogger and good friend Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. Wendy sent me a canister of Montreal Steak Seasoning. That was not a spice blend with which I was familiar, but the ingredients on the packaging read: "Garlic, Crushed Black Pepper, Coriander Seed, Dried Chili Peppers, Sea Salt, and Paprika." So, I did some reading.
A delicatessen in Montreal - Schwartz's - is credited with creating Montreal steak seasoning. Legend has it that during the 1940s and 50s, a Schwartz's broilerman named Morris "The Shadow" Sherman began adding the deli's smoked meat pickling spices to his ribs and steaks. Quickly popularity rose and it became the standard recipe there and at other delis and steakhouses. So what traditionally was used for pastrami branched out to all sorts of meat rubs.
After trying this twice, to great success, it has been requested at least once a week. Thankfully, it's simple. I have had to reorder more Montreal Steak Seasoning. Wendy, the boys thank you for the inspiration every single time this hits our table. We love it!
The main element to a great Reuben - in my opinion - is balance. You want to get a blend of toasted bread, spiced meat, tangy sauerkraut, and oozy cheese in every single bite. And great ingredients are key. For this version, I rubbed the brisket with the Montreal Steak Seasoning and slow roasted overnight. I baked a sourdough loaf with 40% rye flour and added homemade lacto-fermented cabbage from the garden. My Russian dressing uses fresh-made mayonnaise with eggs that I received in a trade from a friend; she got a jar of my homemade strawberry jam in return.
- one 4 to 5 pound brisket
- 4 to 5 T Montreal Steak Seasoning
- also needed: roasting pan fitted with a rack, foil
- 2 slices sourdough rye bread
- 2 t butter, softened
- 2 T Russian dressing (recipe below)
- ¼ C well-drained, fresh-style sauerkraut (my recipe for Simple Sauerkraut, you need at least 3 days' lead time)
- 2 ounces Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced
- ¼ pound roasted brisket, thinly sliced (it is easiest to slice this cooled and reheat the slices)
- ½ C mayonnaise (my Homemade Mayonnaise)
- ¼ C pickle relish, (I think traditionally this is sweet relish, we prefer dill)
- 3 T ketchup (my Homemade Vanilla Ketchup, leave out the vanilla if you prefer)
- 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used a Meyer lemon because we have access to a tree)
- 1 T prepared horseradish
- 1 t Worcestershire sauce
- freshly ground salt, to taste
Whisk everything together in a small mixing bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
Slow-Roasted Montreal Steak Seasoning Brisket
Rub the Montreal Steak Seasoning into the meat and let stand for at least 30 minutes on the counter. Preheat the oven to 265 degrees F.
Place the brisket, fatty side up, on roasting rack in the pan. Cover the pan with foil and place the pan in the oven. Roast for 7 to 8 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool.
I found it easier to slice the brisket while cold for the cleanest cuts.
Butter each slice of bread and place, buttered side down, on skillet or griddle. I like to build the sandwich in the skillet you'll grill it in.
Spoon and spread 1 T of Russian dressing on the face-up, dry side of the bread. Then spread the sauerkraut evenly over the dressing.
Arrange the cheese in an even layer over the sauerkraut, then add a layer of sliced brisket. I like to add one more layer of cheese that will stick it all together in the end.
Heat the skillet over medium-low heat and grill the sandwich slowly. Cook until the bread is browned and crisped. Then serve the sandwich open-face so diners can add more dressing if they like before closing it.
Serve immediately. Thanks, again, to Wendy, for sending me the Montreal Steak Seasoning that inspired me to actually make my own brisket for this sandwich. We love it.
So, that's my favorite sandwich. What's yours??