The Reuben is a messy sandwich that speaks the flavors of winter. Pickled goose, pickled cabbage, and best served with chips and a pickle on the side. Canada goose season ends this weekend and we are slowly emerging from the darkest depths of winter. This meal is a perfect way to celebrate the end of goose season and whet your appetite for vegetables that aren’t pickled.
If, like me, you choose not to use nitrates in your pickling, your corned goose will not come out the beautiful pink that you might associate with corned beef. I assure you, it is every bit as delicious when it’s brown, and it is down one carcinogen.
I made my own rye bread which can be a fun challenge, but can also be a real pain. Winter baking is hard. We keep our house pretty cold and I am constantly struggling to keep my yeast happy this time of year. When it is cold the yeast aren’t as active as they are in their ideal temperature range (70-100 degrees F), which can lead to flat loaves. If you don’t love baking, just buy a nice loaf of rye bread at the store.
Corned Goose Reubens
For the Corned Goose:
2 goose breasts
¼ tsp each cinnamon, clove, coriander, allspice
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
6-8 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
½ cup salt
2 tbsp sugar (optional)
~6 cups water
For the Sandwich:
Good Rye Bread (I used this recipe)
Brown Mustard or Thousand Island Dressing
Corning the Goose:
Begin by mixing the brine. I used a quart container that both breasts could easily be submerged in. Fill around halfway with warm water and add the salt and spices, mixing until the salt is dissolved. Add the breasts and then top with water if they are not fully submerged. Put this container in the refrigerator and allow the breasts to pickle for a week or so.
Once a week has passed, remove the breasts from the brine and rinse them with cold water. Simmer the breasts submerged in a large pot of water for 2-3 hours. The combination of the pickling and the low, slow cooking tenderizes the meat, so take your time.
When the breasts are cooked, remove them from the pot and allow them to rest for 10 minutes. At the end of the resting period they should be cool enough to slice more easily. Slice as thin as you can and ensure that you are slicing against the grain of the meat. This will give you the most tender corned goose for your sandwich.
For the Sandwich:
Spread mustard or Thousand Island Dressing (or both) across both slices of bread, cover with a healthy serving of swiss, and put them in the toaster oven or under the broiler until the bread is lightly toasted and the cheese melted.
Warm the sauerkraut in a pan over medium heat. If your corned goose has been in the fridge, toss it on top of the sauerkraut to warm as well. Heating the sauerkraut in a pan rather than the microwave helps reduce the overall moisture content, which keeps you from having a mushy sandwich.
Put a couple good spoonfuls of sauerkraut on one side of the bread and pile an ample amount of corned goose on top. Cover with the other slice of bread and slice down the middle. Serve with chips, pickle, and extra thousand island dressing. Enjoy!