Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sandwich Quest One Million

Every once in a while, we all have to take a journey. For whatever reason, we must quest against the darkness to find the PRIZE. For instance, Gary Patterson from time to time quests against his shoe laces. Everyone knows who wins this battle.

For me, the last couple of weeks has been one of those times. For reasons I don't believe I'll ever fully understand I decided to make a homemade Reuben sandwich, and I do very much mean "homemade". The quest took three weeks and involved many co-adventurers, including Steph-Smoke and L-Smoke. And yes, we attained the Prize.

You may be saying "3 weeks!? Why!?" Well I knew you'd say that, and I'm more than prepared to explain myself via web log. So here's the deal. A traditional Reuben is heated pastrami, on rye bread, served with Swiss cheese Russian/Thousand Island dressing and sauerkraut. It takes roughly three weeks to make all of these things. (we did not make all of them)

The first step....make Corned Beef. (This step takes 3 weeks. So get ready.) Pretty much corned beef is brisket which has been "cured". By curing I mean packed in salt and spices and left in a cold place for weeks. You can cure with a super salty brine as well, but I did not do that. I did the former. The reasons it is called "corned" is because the salt pellets used in the olden times were roughly the size of a kernel of corn. We all learn something new everyday.


Step 1: Break a Light Bulb

(you just got to)

Step 2: Get a Brisket.
Step 3:Get a lot of salt, mix in a bay leaf, cracked pepper, allspice, juniper, paprika, and what have you, preferably from Pendrey's, put in a bowl for a beautiful picture.

Step 4: Trim the Fat from the Brisket

Step 5: Pack the Salt and spices into the Brisket and put into Zip-Lock

Step 6: Put in Oven tray and weight down with something heavy, I used flour and some cans. Put in the fridge and flip once a day.

Step 7: Wait 3 weeks.

Step8: Uncover, get out of zip lock, and wash thoroughly.

Step 9: Rinse and set aside (no picture) This blog is not about setting things aside.

And that's, that! Tadaa, you got corned beef there fella.


Ok, so the next step is to make Pastrami. And as we all know, (I didnt know this) Pastrami is smoked corned beef. And we're off....

Step 10: Fire up the Smoker:

Step 11: Spice up the meat. I bought some new chili's! Fruity and spicey and great. Just a dash.

I blended up the pepeprs, and lots of black pepper for a mild Pastrami rub.

Rub the meat well, add some Kosher salt and put on the smoker at 225.

I don't know if this was traditional or not, but I just smoked it like any other old brisket. See pretty much every other post on this blog for information on how to smoke a brisket. This blog is about smoking briskets and such.

Step 12: Remove from foil, let rest and slice! Boom! You got Pastrami.


Ok, so the next step is to make rye bread with lots of fennel and caraway seeds. To tell you the truth, making rye bread is a hell of a process and takes a lot of steps. Generally speaking, we used all of the ingredients shown below, jump started the yeast, slowly added rye and bread flower, kneaded until lots of gluten had formed... we let it rise, we pushed it down etc etc etc, and we baked it. If you want a better recipe check out, I hear it s great. Anyway, I'm going to let the pictures and videos speak for themselves for this process.

And Boom Goes the Dynamite, you got Rye Bread.


Ok so thousand island dressing is mayo and ketchup mixed with crunchy delicious vegetables and such.

Step 78:Make Mayo (see Oyster Po' Boy post for directions)

Step 83: Add chopped capers, green onions, delicious pickles, and random herbage. Mix with ketchup and and put it jar.


Step 56: Milk a standard Texas Dairy Cow

Step 65: Just Kidding, I bought the cheese at Central Market.


No Steps. Just Buy it. (which is a little sad because I bet its not that hard to make) Anyway I bought it.


Finally, after weeks of prep we were ready for assembly. We cut the Rye as thin as we could, and buttered it and placed in a cast iron skillet. At the same time we slowly heated our pastrami, (which was still warm from the smoker) and heated the sauerkraut in another pan. When all was hot we added the items thusley:

And the final sandwich turn out like this:

Here is what the sandwich tasted like:

VICTORY! (that's at Clemson by the way)

Anyway, the sandwiches were delicious, and I'd like to thank Lsmoke and Stephsmoke for all of their help. I feel like I've made some glorious accomplishment. Perhaps, they'll let me in to the Sandwich Championship Series (SCS). Probably not. F**king Boise State.

Thanks for reading everyone. More to come soon.


Some have asked if it was worth it?

For the learning experience and fun I had while doing all of this, of course it was worth it. Every cooking venture which is a little bit above your level is always worth it. It was a lot of fun as well. Was it the best reuben I've ever I've had better before, mainly because at a deli, the pastrami is cut with a meat slicer. Smoked corned beef is tough stuff and there is a reason it is cut so thin. Our pastrami was a little chewy but not terribly so. the end.

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Anonymous said...

congrats smokehopper. you finally succeeded in posting the longest post in the history of dfw bbq related blogs. huzzah!

Anonymous said...

"The Prize"? As in, "there can be only one?"

Kim said...


Anonymous said...

I've been laughing my ass off since I found your blog! And if you saw my ass, you'd say I still have a lot more laughing to do!!! Keep 'em coming. I think you're on to something.

Anonymous said...

You should make a sandwich with doodoo as the bread. Also, you could use doodoo as the meat. Whatever you do, don't use doodoo as the condiment. That's too over the top.

Anonymous said...

that's not funny ha ha, that's funny queer, unh hunh.

Hollie said...

more pictures, please.