How in the one month when corned beef is king can we make the sandwich of the month anything other than the Reuben? We can’t. If you’re roasting corned beef, you’re bound to have leftovers. Simply pile it high on pumpernickel bread spread with Thousand Island or Russian dressing, combine with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut before putting on the griddle and toasting until the cheese is bubbly. Lunch is set for the week. In this related story, local chef Sean Cummings says corned beef is not eaten in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, or any other. And he should know; that’s his heritage. However, the tradition of eating corned beef on St. Pat’s Day does come from the Irish — those who lived in New York City. Unable to find their beloved Irish bacon, the New Yorkers borrowed more affordable corned beef as a substitute from their Jewish neighbors. Of course, St. Pat himself was more known for blue than green, but that’s a whole other story. Authenticity can be overrated; corned beef is not. Especially if it is cured in a 24-day process in a brine of your own making. No, I don’t do that, but Kurt Fleischfresser and his chef apprentices at The Coach House do. That’s right; one of the state’s premier spots for fine dining makes Reuben sandwiches. Fleischfresser worked early in his career in Chicago, where his restaurant received barrels of fresh corned beef, and he’s been on a personal quest to reproduce it ever since. Using a brine mixed with sugar and his own special mix of pickling spices, Fleischfresser opts for eye of round instead of brisket, and he thinks they’ve come pretty close. Like corned beef, the Reuben has no exotic heritage. Just because it has sauerkraut doesn’t mean it comes from Germany. The history is disputed; some say it came from Omaha in 1925 and others New York City in 1914. But in the words of the great Beavis and Butt-head, if I wanted to do history, I’d go to school. Maybe after lunch.
13 places to find a Reuben Sandwich
→Beatnix Cafe, 136 NW 13. →Bison Witches, 211 E Main, Norman →The Coach House, 6437 Avondale Drive. →Ingrid’s Kitchen, 3701 N Youngs. →Hobby’s Hoagies, 222 S Santa Fe Ave., Edmond; 325 N Walker. →Jersey Mike’s, 1940 S Air Depot; 7500 S Santa Fe; 1630 NW 23; 2522 W Memorial. →Kilkenny’s Irish Pub and Eatery, 1413 E 15th St., Tulsa. →Lottinvilles Wood Grill, 801 Signal Ridge, Edmond. →Manhattan Pasta, Pizza and Grill, 17200 N May. →Markie’s Cafe, 612 N Robinson. →Shartel Cafe, 5116 N Shartel. →VZD’s, 4200 N Western. →Which Wich, 215 W Boyd, Norman. Got a favorite Reuben sandwich?
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