Reuben: Australian Corned Beef, Sauerkraut, Russian Dressing, Swiss, and Silke’s Light Rye

Adapted by
February 2014


(Yield: 6 quarts)
3½ cups salt
15 pounds shredded cabbage (reserve large outer leaves)
2 cups brine
Sachet of 4 ounces caraway
5 ounces fennel seeds
Beef Brine
(Yield: 2 quarts brine)
2 quarts water
1 cups salt
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon pink salt
1 tablespoon pickling spice
2 tablespoons garlic cloves
Corned Beef
(Yield: 18 servings)
1 Australian beef brisket, trimmed
black pepper
Pinch salt
1 cup small diced mirepoix
8 cloves garlic
4 ounces pickling spice
Russian Dressing
(Yield: 2¼ cups dressing)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 tablespoon puréed white onion
¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup sriracha
½ cup sweet chile sauce
To Assemble and Serve
(Yield: 1 sandwich)
2 slices Silke’s rye bread, freshly toasted
2 slices Swiss cheese


For the Sauerkraut:
To a 5-gallon bucket with airlock, add salt and just enough hot water to dissolve it. When dissolved, add cold water until bucker is filled halfway. Add cabbage and brine. Make sure cabbage is completely submerged. Arrange a blanket of cabbage leaves on top and weigh down with plate, pushing down to ensure cabbage is submerged. Cover with lid and add 1 ounce water to airlock. Leave bucket in a dark, cool space for at least 2 weeks. Drain sauerkraut, collecting brine is stock pot. Discard leaves. Reserve 2 cups brine for future batch. Add sachet to brine in stock pot. Refrigerate sauerkraut overnight. Place pot with brine on stovetop and heat on high to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, pour brine into appropriate heat-safe container and refrigerate over night. Combine sauerkraut and brine and return to refrigerator.

For the Beef Brine:
In a pot, combine water, salt, sugar, pink salt, pickling spice, and garlic. Bring to boil and cook 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

For the Corned Beef:
Inject 2 cups Beef Brine throughout brisket. Transfer brisket to a vacuum bag with an additional 1 quart brine. Seal bag on high. Refrigerate 5 days. Remove beef from bag, rinse under cold water, and season with pepper and salt. Place brisket into new vacuum bag with mirepoix, garlic, and pickling spice and seal on high. Heat the water bath of an immersion circulator to 144°F and submerge brisket. Cook 12 hours. Transfer bag to ice water bath and chill 3 hours. 

For the Russian Dressing:
In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, horseradish, white onion, Worcestershire sauce, sriracha, and chile sauce. Let flavors meld overnight in refrigerator.

To Assemble and Serve:
Thinly slice 4 ounces Australian Corned Beef and place on piece of aluminum foil. Top with cheese and run through salamander. Spread 2 ounces Russian Dressing onto each slice of rye toast. Transfer beef and melted cheese to bottom slice of toast. Place ½ cup drained sauerkraut on top of melted cheese. Close sandwich with remaining slice of toast.