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Rachaels Gigantic Reuben Loaf

November 2005
Rachaels Gigantic Reuben Loaf

by 7 people

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A "Reuben" is a classic—corned beef and Swiss with sauerkraut and Russian dressing, grilled to crispy perfection. A "Rachel" is another favorite sammy of mine, made with smoked turkey. This stuffed bread is a combo of a Reuben and a Rachel with a really delicious twist or two: I make my own hot pickled red cabbage rather than using sauerkraut, and I top the sammy with a tangy sweet pickle sauce. Take this monster to a tailgate party whole, then cut it into large slices to serve. Bring plenty of paper towels!

Makes: 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 turns of the pan)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small red cabbage (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)quartered, cored and shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons grill seasoning, such as Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or cider vinegar (eyeball it)
  • 1 large loaf of unsliced pumpernickel or rye bread (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/2 pound deli-sliced corned beef
  • 1/2 pound deli-sliced smoked turkey
  • 1/2 pound deli-sliced pastrami
  • 1/2 pound sliced Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Preheat the broiler and place a rack 10 to 12 inches from the heat.
  2. To the hot skillet, add the oil (2 turns of the pan), bay leaf, garlic, cabbage, cloves, cinnamon stick and nutmeg. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, then add the grill seasoning and brown sugar; toss to coat. Add the vinegar, cook off the liquid (2 minutes), then remove the skillet from the heat. Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick.
  3. To make a lid, cut a 1-inch layer off the top of the loaf of bread along its entire length, keeping the piece whole. Remove the soft insides of the main part and the top of the bread to form a bread bowl for the filling.
  4. Pile half of the cabbage into the base of the bread. Layer the bread bowl next with the meats and then the Swiss cheese. Place the filled bread under the broiler to melt the Swiss. Top the melted cheese with the remaining pickled cabbage. Slather the top of the filling with the sweet pickle relish mixed with the chili sauce and set the bread top in place. The loaf will appear whole and empty to the eye. Pack to travel or cut the loaf into 6 slices and serve immediately on a cutting board.