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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:37 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
* Deb has made sauerkraut. It looks OK. It smells and tastes very sour, but we have no experience with sauerkraut at all, so we don't know what it's supposed to taste like.

I'm guessing it turned out as it should. If you follow directions properly, it's hard to get sauerkraut wrong; it pretty much takes care of itself. I'm not a huge fan, myself, so I prefer mine rinsed it to make it milder.

The kraut has been in the fridge for a week, having fermented for four weeks. Last week, before we had put it in the fridge, I tried it and didn't like it. This week, after a week in the fridge, it was absolutely delicious! :)

Nanohedron wrote:
As to the beef, common wisdom says "low and slow" if you want the tenderest results, especially for tough cuts with a lot of collagen (like brisket); 135C for around 4 to 5 hours, say.

I think we either didn't cook it for long enough, or we cooked it too cool (in the simmering oven of our Aga). We'll be bolder next time. :)

Nanohedron wrote:
But for a first try, what wonderful results you have, there! Reubens almost completely from the ground up. I was particularly struck by the beauty of the bread. :thumbsup:

Thank you so much! Especially for the comment on the bread. Deb was a little nervous about the bread, as, being rye, it was stiffer than her usual loaves. It was fantastic! It was exactly like the best artisan rye bread. Seriously good.

We really did enjoy the whole thing - the drama, the experience, and especially the food!

Now, we can improve on this ...

:D

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:40 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Now, we can improve on this ...

From appearances, not by much, I wager. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:51 pm 
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OK, where's the Russian Dressing? Otherwise, looks good. The holes in the Swiss cheese need to be larger, too.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:03 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I also have a subsidiary question, which is what do we eat it with, other than a Reuben sandwich, but that can wait.

Sausages, but I don't know how sauerkraut would go with the British kind. Probably okay, I'm guessing. In the US, sausages that get sauerkraut are usually on a bun. Ribs, tatties and carrots with sauerkraut in a slow cooker. Beef or pork, doesn't matter.

If you really want to explore sauerkraut, look into its home turf: Central European cooking. Alsatian's a great place to start. German, Czech, you get the idea.

kkrell wrote:
OK, where's the Russian Dressing? Otherwise, looks good. The holes in the Swiss cheese need to be larger, too.

C'mon, the poor guy's doing the best he can with what he's got, such as it is. :wink:

I notice you didn't tell him that the classic Reuben is on dark rye. But I agree: What on Earth is that sauce? Are we witnessing the premature birth of the British Reuben, here?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:35 am 
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A deli that closed recently near me had a version using pumpernickel, which I preferred to the rye.

There are examples of Reubens in the U.S. that use Thousand Island dressing in a pinch.

Good sauerkraut makes a nice side vegetable or snack by itself. It needn't be used as a condiment.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:08 am 
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kkrell wrote:
OK, where's the Russian Dressing? Otherwise, looks good. The holes in the Swiss cheese need to be larger, too.

Ah. I thought that what I did was pretty much "Russian dressing". :-?

The dressing I used there I have referred to as "Thousand Island dressing", since all the recipes I've found for it call for Thousand Island dressing. However, it is very much my own version of it, which consists of the following:

* home-made mayonnaise
* tomato ketchup
* tomato puree
* lemon juice
* Worcestershire Sauce
* chilli powder
* black pepper

As I say, the recipes I've found for the Reuben sandwich don't mention Russian dressing, and in fact I've never heard of it. I've looked it up in wiki, and it seems similar to what I made, but obviously not to you guys! What would you put in it?

The darkness of the rye bread is an interesting one. Again, all the recipes I've seen go for this type of lighter rye bread. We had thought of making something more like pumpernickel, but, from looking at the recipes, that didn't look authentic to me. Have I got this wrong? (I know it doesn't really need to be authentic - just delicious! :) )

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:48 am 
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Your own recipe is probably closer than I thought. You might consider a little horseradish, although I suppose you have a little spice in there already with the peppers. I like Russian dressing with a little bit of sweet pickle relish for texture & contrast. My experience with Russian dressing is that there's mild spice for zip, with a tiny bit of sweet as well. You'll have to decide whether such machinations appeal to you personally, or not.

BTW, I found this, so everybody must be wrong.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyl ... story.html

"An early version of Larousse Gastronomique, according to a 1957 article in the New York Times, listed these ingredients for Russian dressing: mayonnaise, tinted pink with the poached coral and pulverized shell of a lobster, and simply seasoned with salt and fresh black caviar. "

The cookbook "Joy of Cooking", a frequent reference in Jewish households, gives this recipe for Russian Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
(3 tablespoons imported caviar)
(1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce)
1/4 cup chili sauce or catsup
1 teaspoon grated onion

You might want a dill pickle on the side of your plate.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:31 pm 
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This is one of those occasions when I'd like a 'like' button. :)

Some useful info in there, Kevin. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:48 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
The dressing I used there I have referred to as "Thousand Island dressing", since all the recipes I've found for it call for Thousand Island dressing.

My bad. I should have inquired further when kkrell said "Russian". Maybe it's a Midwest thing, but I myself have never had a Reuben with Russian dressing, only Thousand Island. But those are salad dressings that I almost never use for any reason, so I sort of lump them together along with certain others into a category I call "Those". Hence the momentary confusion.

benhall.1 wrote:
However, it is very much my own version of it, which consists of the following:

Still and all, whenever someone says "my own version", I confess I become wary.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:31 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I also have a subsidiary question, which is what do we eat it with, other than a Reuben sandwich, but that can wait.
I recall a casserole involving a considerable quantity of sauerkraut, with apples and kielbasa. I regret that I don't recall the details, but it was quite tasty. The pungency of the sauerkraut was considerably tamed by long cooking with the apples.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:40 pm 
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Thanks Tunborough. Yes, I can see how sauerkraut could well in a casserole sweetened in some way, as with fruit.

Nanohedron wrote:
Still and all, whenever someone says "my own version", I confess I become wary.

No need to be wary. :wink: I've been using that recipe now for the last nearly 40 years. And you wouldn't in your wildest dreams guess where I got it from. It's only slightly changed from the original version. (However, because it is slightly changed, I don't feel too bad about sharing it here. :) )

I got that recipe, slightly altered by me over the years, something like 40 years ago from a burger van in the middle of the main street in Miltown Malbay during Willie Week. Honestly, I kid you not! I pestered and pestered the guy manning the van for the recipe and he only gave it to me after I promised not to reveal it. :D

I reckon that, by not letting on how I've changed it, and by waiting 40 years to reveal its secrets, I've 'played the game'. I don't reckon the man in the burger van will come after me now. :)

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