WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Homemade Reuben Sandwich(corn-free, dairy free, gluten free, soy free etc)

As we worked through project elimination, it hasn't been just Abby that has benefited from all the food data I have learned.

Though we do have some less then clean items for the rest of us time to time, we are trying very hard to improve all of our diets.

One of the joys this last few months has been fermenting foods. Unfortunately, beyond coconut yogurt, Abby's system is limited in how much fermented food it will tolerate(Mast?) I have had more time lately since it has become easier to keep up with all the prep for Abby's food and now I am fermenting everything it seems for the rest of us.. Sara says it looks like "Witches Brews" all over the kitchen, but I am terribly fascinated by the process of fermenting. Repressing bad bacteria, and promoting the good. Even sprouting is becoming part of my kitchen. From a seed or grain that is difficult to digest in order to get great nutrition value from even in healthy digestive tracts,transformed to a sprouted grain or seed that not only is easier to digest,but also has transformed and improved it's nutritional values.

The first thing I tried a few months ago was kraut. Love the stuff. I eat it cold, seasoned, purple or green... endless options.

One of the foods we avoid like the plague for all of us is preserved meats. Have you read the ingredients on a pack of cheap bacon? Or a hotdog? Or a sausage? Read the package of pepperoni, that will give anyone a heart attack just reading the chemical slurry you get eating that!

An all time favorite of mine has been a Reuben Sandwich. My old favorite was one from Katz Deli. I have no idea what they put in theirs, but since I avoid restaurants these days, I knew if I wanted corned beef I would have to make it myself.

Easy, really.

I had picked up a grass fed beef roast at the Calico Dairy in Conroe(great raw milk, cheese, kefir etc by the way!) I am not sure if it is cornfree enough for those with corn allergies, but since Abby cannot eat beef it wasn't a huge concern for the rest of us. When I read about brining my own corned beef, it calls for brisket for the meat, but I am all about using what is on hand, so a top roast is what I opted to use.

Turned out delicious. When I started to cook it, we just knew it would be delicious the house filled with the smell of corned beef.

My Reuben was made with gluten free "fake Rye" bread. I use a mix of buckwheat and other gf flours. I add some homemade pickle juice,ground caraway,mustard seed and dill for seasoning. We prefer our caraway seed ground vs whole seed. Of course I made the kraut(3 weeks this time of year for a good tang. I do a small batch in a large fido jar 1 head of cabbage per batch), the thousand Island dressing a combo of all our homemade condiments- roasted red pepper ketchup,homemade pickles,homemade horseradish sauce, homemade coconut yogurt,some other seasoning. No need for cheese on this Reuben, it was well worth the effort.

I have just enough leftover corned beef(small roast) to make some corned beef hash today.

Below is the brine I used. Usually corned beef has a pink color from adding saltpeter. However, not only did not have any, I would really rather not use it. Grey meat was fine with us and I got a great pop of color from the red kraut.

TIP: Homemade sauerkraut is another tool for fighting constipation issues,very effective treatment as well as cheap(less then 1.00 dollar a head of cabbage)and delicious!

Corned Beef:

1 quart water
1/2 cup pink himalayan salt(or kosher salt if not allergic)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
4 whole allspice berries(I used ground was fine)
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger(or a teaspoon fresh)
1 (2-3 pound) beef roast, trimmed
1 small onion, quartered
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
OPTIONS(juniper berries I did not have them so skipped,though if I have these next time I will definitely add them. And most recommend saltpeter as well which I skipped)

Place the water into a large pot along with salt, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, bay leaves and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Place the brine in the fridge till completely chilled. Once it has cooled, place the beef roast in a large zip top bag and add the brine(or seal tightly into bowl fully submerged).. place in the refrigerator for 7- 10 days(even in a ziplock, put in bowl,it will leak). Each day check and make sure beef is submerged and stir brine.

After 7-10 days(I have read some directions recommending as little as 3-4 days,but I am doubting it would allow for a good penetration of flavors), remove from the brine. Place the roast into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Once cooked,thinly slice across the grain for more tender bites.


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