Saturday, March 19, 2011

Reuben Casserole

I just finished lunch. It was a super tasty Reuben casserole lunch, and I want more. While there is more in the fridge right now, portion control is a girl's best friend. This casserole is easy, satisfying and reheats well. Happy St. Patty's Day to me (again)!

Reuben Casserole

3-4 lb. corned beef brisket
1/2 loaf homemade French bread, cubed
1/2-3/4 c. Thousand Island dressing with bacon (I believe I used Kraft)
1 1/2 c. sauerkraut, well drained
5 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded

Place the brisket in a slow cooker, add the spice packet (if one came with the meat), cover with water and cook on high for 3-4 hours. The general rule for corned beef is 50 minutes per pound. Once tender, remove from the slow cooker and let rest 10 minutes. Cut into 1/2 in. strips across the grain, then cube.

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Place the bread cubes in the bottom of the pan, top with cubed corned beef, then with the sauerkraut. All measurements are approximate, so if you have more or less of something, do what looks right to you. Drizzle the dressing over the pan evenly and top with shredded Swiss. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and eveything is heated through. Broil for 2-3 minutes at the end of the cooking process to really crisp the cheese layer. Remove from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes and serve.

Truth be told, I know you're lookin' at the bread choice and thinking, "Why on Earth......?" Well, it was all I had on hand, it had to be used up, and I wasn't making a special trip to the store (with gas at $3.50/gallon!) for a lousy loaf of bread. If you have rye or pumpernickel on hand, by all means use that!

For some reason, my brisket didn't become as tender as I'd hoped it would, even though I cooked it about an hour longer that I should have had to. I'm thinking it's the cut I used, so next time I might have to go with a step up, which is still reasonably priced this time of year. I didn't think there was any way I'd use the whole 3.75 lb. roast in the casserole, but I did, and it was just the right amount.

Funny story --- the whole reason I went with a casserole instead of traditional Reubens that day was because I had cut the roof of my mouth and eating almost everything was painful. I figured biting into a soft casserole as opposed to a large, toasted sammy was the way to go, and turns out, I was right. Enjoy!

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