Irish Corned Beef Reuben Sanwich (My Take)

St. Patrick’s Day is in 2 weeks and I am already getting in the green mood. There is nothing more that my husband loves than a good sandwich and there is nothing better than a classic Reuben. Traditionally a Reuben is hot sandwich of corned beef and Swiss cheese, with Russian or Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut. Now we all know I don’t like to follow the rules here on Kitchen Belleicious and the thought of thousand island dressing alongside corned beef and topped with sauerkraut kinda makes me nausea. No offense out there to the classic Reuben lovers but its just not for me. So instead I opted for my own version of sauerkraut (a.k.a.spicy coleslaw) complete with plenty of cilantro and parsley and omitted the dressing all together and replaced it with a drizzle of roasted walnut oil and a slather of Henry Weinhard’s Pub Beer Mustard. 

The key to this sandwich is the corned beef. Personally, I never liked corned beef until I started making it myself. I need it to be packed with flavor and have that perfect balance between tangy and savory. After a few trial and errors (all of which my husband was happy to oblige in tasting) I have finally come up with the perfect corned beef recipe. The marinade incorporates flavors of turmeric, garlic, vinegar, beer, onions, mustard seeds, bay leaves and peppercorns!  It had such a unique richness to it unlike what you would expect and it literally falls apart. Succulent is the best word to describe it.

The best part about this recipe is use of a slower cooker. We all love the ease of slow cookers and in this occasion it is a must. The whole process from start to finish is simple and direct and you can put this on in the morning and have a delicious St. Patrick’s Day themed dinner waiting on you when you get back. he We had leftovers for days and I already incorporated the meat into a fabulous corn beef spaghetti pie and my husband’s favorite ultimate cheesy corn beef nachos!

Note: For those on a Gluten Free Diet substitute the rye bread with GF bread or just omit the bread entirely! The beef is that good:)

Irish Corn Beef Reuben Sanwich
  • For the beef:
  • 1 3-4 lb. corned beef brisket
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper each
  • 1 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 ounces of dark beer
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP whole mustard seeds
  • 1 TBSP whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper each
  • ½ tsp cajun seasoning
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  1. Rinse and pat dry the beef. Place the flour, 1 tsp salt and pepper each and the cajun seasoning in a large bowl. Dredge the corn beef in the flour mixture making sure to coat the meat evenly and on all sides. In a large cast iron skillet, heat 2 teaspoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef to the pan and cook until browned on all sides, 2-4 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients including the water and beer. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low in your slow cooker. Serve topped with my spicy twist on Sauerkraut (aka coleslaw-recipe below), swiss cheese and rye bread (or GF bread). Don't forget the slather of Henry Weinhard's Pub Beer Mustard and a drizzle of Roasted Walnut Oil! Its a must!
  3. Sauerkraut Ingredients:
  4. 1 lime, juiced
  5. 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  6. 3 tablespoon horseradish mayo
  7. 1 tsp fish sauce
  8. 1 bag of shredded coleslaw mix
  9. 1 tsp spicy dijon mustard
  10. Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. StephenC

    This is a fascinating post. I adore corned beef and when I started reading I thought you were actually making corned beef from scratch. That’s a fun thing to do, but requires enormous patience (and two or three weeks). If you’re interested, there’s a book I used to have called “Charcuterie” by Michael Ruhlman (a food writer) and a chef (whose name I don’t remember). It gives good explanations for how to make all kinds of cured things, from sauerkraut, to corned beef, to salami. As for your cole slaw, the wonderful thing is that your dressing is actually totally what is used to make Thai green papaya salad (one of my favorite things on the planet). I, too, have used this general flavor profile with Napa, savoy and regular green cabbage. But here’s another thing: try it with julienned chayote squash (also called mirlitons). Happy cooking.

  2. Eva Taylor

    That bread looks incredible and I agree, there is really nothing better than a good corned beef sandwich, Jessica. Your recipe is wonderful, I adore the marinade ingredients.

  3. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Oh my sweet family would jump on these so fast!! They love Reuben sandwiches and these look amazing.

  4. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

    I am such a piggy, I could enjoy one of these for breakfast and lunch!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  5. Bonnie

    Yum! When it’s just the two of us on St. Patrick’s Day, I often do a reuben sandwich for our dinner rather than a whole corned beef. Your’s sounds delicious and looks even better!


  6. Kristy

    I love a good Reuben and know I would LOVE your take as well. Anything with cilantro!!! Delicious! Happy St. Patty’s!

  7. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    Oh my. this sandwich looks so inviting I want to reach in and eat the whole thing!

  8. ChgoJohn

    Nothing quite as good as a reuben sandwich masterfully made. Yours here sounds and looks like the real deal and I’d fully enjoy one. A nearby deli/restaurant recently closed but, while it was open, they prepared the best reubens I’d ever had. How I miss that place!

  9. Bree {Skinny Mommy}

    I love rubens and this one looks terrific!

  10. Kiran @

    Oh my gosh! The shots are so mouth-wateringly delicious 😀

  11. Velva

    I love a good Reuben sandwich…I can enjoy the sauerkraut or the spicy coleslaw, They would both rock in my world.

    Interesting you used the slow cooker. It never occurred to me. I getting ready to make corned beef and cabbage and I just assumed I would use the stove top. I am definitely changing my mind. Thanks for the great advice.


  12. jackie @ marin mama cooks

    Hey Jessica! I just love how this sandwich jumps out at you. I could just grab it off the screen and eat it now. John loves ruben sandwiches and I really have to make this for him. Ok, I have to admit that I am lame about using my slow cooker. Yes, I have only used it once and I have had it for 8 years. Can we say LAME! John is actually the slow cooker master. He makes pulled pork all the time as well as beef stews, etc. He’s the meat loving midwestern man!
    I also love that you omitted the thousand island dressing as that reminds me of a big mac. I use to live on those when I was in high school and didn’t know any better! Ugh! xoxo, Jackie

  13. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    What, St. Patrick’s Day is in two weeks? Geez I’m always behind in schedule! WOW your sandwich looks so good and It looks so real in front of me…You always know how to seduce us with delicious photos. 😉

  14. Vicki Bensinger

    I grew up eating corned beef and as I got older realized how much sodium was in it so rarely eat it anymore except occasionally in a Reuben sandwich and now more often than not in a turkey Reuben.

    I’d have to agree with you though homemade corned beef is so much better. It doesn’t even resemble store bought. Your recipe looks fantastic and I love the Cajun seasonings in it. Plus your sauerkraut adds a nice spin to the dish. Great recipe and photos.

    I’m having someone help me change from blogger to WordPress and I’m terrified about it. I’d love to do it myself but with so many older posts I fear I’d lose them all. Has it been really difficult doing it on your own? I did my current blog but its developed over time and to switch it would need to be done all at once, that’s what scares me. Yours looks great. Congrats on doing it yourself.

  15. Pure Complex

    You have just made me hungry lol. I wish I had this sandwich right now because I would eat the whole thing lol. DELISH.

  16. Torrie @ a place to share...

    jessica!!! i don’t know if you remember this or not, but when you originally posted your recipe, i forwarded it to my mom, and she made it for our book club dinner. then, she sent me home with some, and based on your suggestion, i made spaghetti pie!!


    i am printing this out right now to make it for the big day. and gluten free… even better.

    when we were on the alkaline diet, we bought {and began using walnut oil}… SO delicious.

  17. Malli

    What a gorgeous sammy loaded with roast beef and slaw. Welcome back, I’m so glad to see you on my site thanks for your nice words. So sorry you were unable to comment but I will certainly take a look into ithe issue. I was away for a while recovering from the flu but back and good as new:) Will be back for your next tasty treat!!

  18. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    Ahh, the classic sandwich which is hard to beat! So delicious looking..

  19. Liz

    I do love the classic Reuben, but yours is just as tempting!!! Love the idea of topping with cole slaw and skipping the dressing. Now I need to track down some good corn beef 🙂

  20. Melynda@Our Sunday Cafe

    Love, love, love corned beef. I like the cole slaw idea, yum.

  21. Balvinder

    We don’t eat beef but your sandwich does look inviting!

  22. Kristin

    I’m literally drooling…Corned beef is my jam!

  23. Joanne

    seems like you guys are really getting in the holiday spirit! What an awesome sandwich!

  24. Jed Gray (sportsglutton)

    Here here to not using thousand island on the Reuben…I can’t go down that road either. Your take sounds phenomenal Jessica!

  25. Sues

    Mu husband is OBSESSED with corned beef, too, and now I feel like I really should make him this reuben 🙂

  26. Erica

    Coleslaw is the best! Great replacement!!

  27. Geni

    I love that you did it in the slow cooker. My mom always cooks hers in a pressure cooker and that thing freaks me out! 😉 Your sandwich is making my mouth water. Hope you are doing better and things are getting resolved. Take care!

  28. val

    You are truly speaking my language once again. I’d give anything for this sandwich.

  29. kitchen flavours

    Wow, that is a delicious looking sandwich! And you have used turmeric, one of my favourite spice! I love it already!

  30. Mary

    I’ve never actually had a reuben but after seeing your pictures it’s obviously time i did! delicious
    mary x

  31. Lena

    what a fabulous sandwich and the marinate sounds good! jess, your photos are making my mouth water!

  32. Karen (Back Road Journal)

    First I have to mention the photos…especially the last one, just great ! And what a sandwich you have created. I like your idea of the spicy coleslaw as it must be delicious.

  33. Michele

    That looks fabulous! Mmmmm! I have a corned beef in the freezer too. May have to make this sandwich.

  34. daphne

    Hey dearie! I’m so sorry I haven’t been on blogsphere for some time. Thanks for your well wishes on my post.. don’t worry, you haven’t missed any of my previous posts about my pregnancy because I haven’t posted any! ;P I’m excited too and I am sure bb will be sooo appreciative of whatever you have in mind.

    I have been wanting bread lately so this sandwich will be my cup of tea..and that meat looks so moist! In fact, i can just have the corned beef itself!! Your take of the reuben is perfect!

  35. Chicken Pot Pie for St. Patrick's Day Recipe | Barbara Bakes

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