The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Reuben Our Way

July 10th, 2009 · 7 Comments · Posted in garden, Recipes

Corned beef never tasted so good

Corned beef never tasted so good

Every year around this time we hunt down the best corned beef we can find to go with our homemade dill pickles. We found a winner. It’s the corned beef made on the premises at Wagshal’s Delicatessen right here in the District of Columbia. I should have known. I first frequented the place back in my student days at American University. Thirty-five years later, Wagshal’s is still going strong. Except until yesterday I had no idea they were brining their own corned beef.

So here is our version of a Reuben sandwich. You’ll notice immediately that since we aren’t eating starchy carbohydrates, there’s no bread. The good news is, you absolutely do not need bread to send a Reuben over the top. To the corned beef from Wagshal’s we added our own homemade sauerkraut. Top it off with Swiss cheese from the local dairy. On the side is my wife’s version of Russian dressing: some mayo, a bit of the ketchup we made from our own tomatoes two years ago, some pickle relish, a drop or two of Worcestershire sauce.

Place the finished plates under the broiler for a minute to melt the cheese. Serve with a glass of chilled rose wine.

Lunch was never finer.

Read more great stories about how we are taking back our food system at Fight Back Fridays.

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  • Our Natural Life

    Looks pretty good! Even better would be to make your own corned beef. Next time you get access to a nice grass-fed brisket, you should try it! It takes about 3 weeks, some salt sugar, and spices. It will be a bit more brown than pink without the added nitrates, but have more flavor than you can imagine! I used a recipe from one of Julia Child’s cook books in April and it was awesome! And made the best breakfast hash, too, to serve with pastured eggs!

  • Ed Bruske

    Natural, we intend to corn our own beef soon, and yes, we can get grass-fed brisket from our dairy. We like ours pink, so we do not shun the nitrate. We will probably use Ruhlman’s “Charcuterie” for instructions. But you are correct, there’s nothing terribly difficult about it.

  • fastweedpuller

    I was going to suggest the same, that you D.I.Y. Can’t say that we’re fans of corned beef despite our Irish heritage…however, anything I have ever tried to smoke or make sausage out of here at the house has been splendiferous. Ruhlman’s book is really pretty good, too. Any place you guys can hang some sausage there?

  • FoodRenegade

    Oh wow. We’ve got a lot of homemade sauerkraut — my husband’s favorite. I’m always serving it with sausages, but why not corned beef? AND swiss cheese? It looks delicious!

    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  • Ed Bruske

    El, I would love to get into charcuterie in a more meaningful way. Where to hang the stuff, that is the question. It’s definitely something to think about.

    Kristen, sauerkraut with sausages is one of my favorites. What I’m now thinking of is one of our decadent choucroute garnis. Stay tuned….

  • Ambimom

    Used to live on Tunlaw Road, Glover Park 20 years ago and Wagshal’s croissants were my Sunday morning staple. Glad to know they’re still there. Say hi for me. Wonderful memories.

  • Ed Bruske

    Ambimom, I hadn’t been back to Wagshal’s in years either until my wife suggested it for this reuben plate. I’m glad she did. I don’t know where else you could go around here for homemade corned beef.