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How To Make The Perfect New York Salt Beef Sandwich

Tue 26 Jun 2018

No trip to New York is complete without eating a Reuben Salt Beef Sandwich, which is why it proudly sits on our list of canapés at our Christmas in New York party at Finsbury Square. Originating from the Jewish communities, this heavenly piling of hot salt beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing, all merged into two slices of soft rye bread, has become an icon of the New York food scene.

Find out how you can whip up your very own Reuben sandwich without splashing out on the hefty plane fare to go across the pond.

Let’s go through the five ingredients:

The Meat

You may wrinkle your nose at the mere mention of corned beef, but the US equivalent is much different to the questionably pink canned version that was forced upon us as youngsters. This version is made from beef brisket while the ‘corning’ refers to the preparation with large grains of salt. The end product is what you would consider to be hot salt beef – that delightfully tender meat that almost melts apart. Pastrami is also very similar to salt beef and is rubbed with spices, so feel free to opt for this if it's more to your taste.

The Sauerkraut

As a concept, the idea of shredded pickled cabbage isn’t all that appetising (even if it is, of course, absolutely delicious). The quality of sauerkraut doesn’t really matter either, so any jar from your local supermarket will suffice. However, you could always make your own - great sauerkraut is always homemade. The bitterness of the sauerkraut is an essential part of the classic Reuben and its pairing with the salt beef in perfect harmony.

The Cheese

Swiss cheese is a huge deal in New York – every deli counter offers it and almost every New Yorker swears by it. It’s creamy texture melts well over the hot beef and becomes perfectly mixed in with…

The Dressing

Russian dressing is rather basic. It’s essentially a mix of tomato and mayonnaise, which is also a good base for a cheat’s Marie Rose sauce but with the addition of finely-chopped onion and herbs. It’s quite sweet on its own, but with the bitterness of the sauerkraut, mellowness of the cheese and strong saltiness of the beef, it’s divine.

The Bread

For many people, rye bread is the heavy German version you find hidden in the bread aisle at the supermarket – but in the US, rye is usually quite soft, made with a mixture of both rye flour and strong white bread flour. This gives the bread a subtle strength of flavour and texture in comparison to the farmhouse bloomers we eat as toast.

Serving It Up

Pile the ingredients into the lightly toasted bread and serve immediately with tangy pickles and a good strong coffee - as they do in delis in The Big Apple.

 

If you'd rather leave it to the professionals, why not join us this Christmas where we'll be bringing the City That Never Sleeps to Finsbury Square? Devour the Reuben Salt Beef Sandwich, amongst many delicious canapés expertly created by Smart Hospitality, while experiencing what New York has to offer with breathtaking theming and spectacular entertainment throughout the evening. Click here to discover more.

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