Home Cooking In the Kitchen Leftover corned beef? This braided Reuben will keep those Irish eyes smiling

Leftover corned beef? This braided Reuben will keep those Irish eyes smiling

Photo: Kayleigh Van Vliet Baig

Irish spirit is in the air. In case you’ve been hibernating, today is St. Patrick’s day, a holiday intended for celebrating.

Shake off the snow and grab yourself a green beer to wash down all the corned beef you’ve been indulging in this week. Of course my favorite part of any holiday is the food.

in the kitchenI’m not sure why I don’t eat corned beef and cabbage all year, I like mine smothered in horseradish sauce and with an extra side of boiled potatoes. I guess waiting a whole year makes it taste that much better.

If you caught the sale like I did then you’ve got yourself a fridge full of corned beef. Now what to do with it all I’m not so sure — my husband loves hot corned beef sandwiches but I’m sure that will only last a few days before he starts to look like a cabbage.

Two will definitely make their way to the freezer and of course I’ll be enjoying one last traditional corned beef meal before the weekend is out but as for any leftovers I came across a creative way to use them up.

Below you’ll find my version of a Reuben wrapped up in pizza dough. Now don’t be discouraged by the pizza dough, it doesn’t taste like pizza after the fact. This seemed genius and I’m not sure why I haven’t been using this method for leftovers all along. Imagine chicken Parmesan baked inside this thing? Or how about grilled veggies topped with fresh mozzarella? Yeah, I’m sure you catch my drift.

The recipe below calls for caraway seeds, the seeds found in rye bread. They should be easy to find in the spice aisle of your grocery store if they’re not already in the pantry at home. It doesn’t make or break the recipe but it definitely makes it taste more like a true Reuben.

Also, here’s my recipe for Thousand Island dressing, not just for Reubens, but great for burgers, turkey sandwiches or even a Cobb salad.

This baked Reuben is great alongside a pile of coleslaw or on its own!

Braided Reuben

1 package pizza dough
1 pound pound cooked corned beef, shaved or sliced thin
6-8 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
1 cup thousand island dressing
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons Caraway seeds

Dressing ingredients
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sweet relish
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoons onion, minced fine
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt & Pepper

• For the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Dressing can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove pizza dough from the package and unroll onto the baking sheet. If necessary stretch out the sides to even out the shape of the dough, giving you a rectangle. Visually divide the dough into 3 rectangles approximately 3 inches in width. The center rectangle is where the ingredients will be placed. Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons down the center of the dough, long ways. Top with the corned beef, evenly distributing down the center of the dough on top of the dressing. Top with the sauerkraut, evenly spreading on top of the corned beef. Drizzle with 2 to 3 more tablespoons of dressing. Lay the slices of Swiss cheese over the sauerkraut, overlapping to ensure coverage.

• Using a butter knife, cut the dough every 1/2 inch on either side of the center where the ingredients are placed. After the cuts are made there should be 1/2 inch thick strips still attached at the center, all the way down on both sides of the center. Working lengthwise, take a strip of dough and gently stretch across ingredients to the opposite side. Working on the opposite side do the same, crossing over the end of dough just placed. Working from every other side cross over all strips of dough until the bottom is reached. Do not worry if the center ingredients are exposed — the dough will expand a little. Using a pastry brush spread the melted butter evenly over the top of the dough. Sprinkle with the caraway seeds. Bake 12-20 minutes. Cooking time can vary depending on dough used. Start with lowest amount of cook time being sure not to over cook the dough. Let sit five minutes before cutting. Cut into slices and serve with remaining dressing.

Kayleigh Van Vliet Baig
Kayleigh is a sous chef at the Meadow Club in Southampton. A Riverhead native, she is married and the mother of a daughter born in December 2016. Email Kayleigh