I love this time of year; the entire world is coming out of hibernation and the city is coming to life with the hustle and bustle of spring and summer fever. My family is not in exception to the season’s chaos. With all of our projects, a sit-down meal is simply out of the question! I have often considered that if no one is going to be home for dinner, there really is no reason for me to cook. But, in the end, it simply comes down to this: Keeping my family fed is part of my unique job description and I enjoy doing it for them.
We all know that sandwiches are a great meal option for those on the go. Whipping up a sandwich just takes a couple of short minutes, and then you can just wrap it up and hit the road. For something a bit more special than a typical sandwich made with processed cold cuts, embrace your slow cooker! Although it takes some planning, the results are by far tastier than cold cuts and still allow you the convenience of a grab-and-go meal. One of my slow cooker sandwich favorites is corned beef. Corned beef in the slow cooker not only makes a great dinner, but makes for excellent sandwiches. Like all the recipes I like to feature here, it’s easy, delicious and affordable (especially if you bought the corned beef on sale in March and froze it for later).
Personally, I have two favorite corned beef sandwiches: the Reuben and Corned Beef on Rye Plus. I can never make up my mind which sandwich I want, so I always prepare both varieties. If I’m making them for a crowd, I make both sandwiches, cut them in half and serve them on a large platter, so everyone can have a choice.
My recipe for a Reuben is pretty basic and similar to most Reubens you’ll find. After the sandwiches are grilled, I open the sandwiches back up and use Thousand Island dressing as sandwich spread. I learned the Corned Beef on Rye Plus years ago from a restaurant in Trolley Square called The Pub. This sandwich is essentially corned beef on dark rye bread with pickles, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, mustard, mayonnaise and sprouts. Both sandwiches are really delicious and don’t require a ton of extra ingredients that you wouldn’t normally have.
Slow Cooker Corned Beef
- 4-6 pound corned beef roast
- Corned beef pickling packet (comes with the roast)
- 4-6 cups of water
Rinse the corned beef, place in the slow cooker. Cover the corned beef with water and add pickling packet. Slow-cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove corned beef roast from slow cooker and let rest until cool enough to handle. Slice the beef to desired thickness for sandwiches.
- 1 can or jar sauerkraut
- Swiss cheese slices
- Rye bread
- Soft butter
- Thousand Island dressing (I prefer the Lighthouse brand)
Drain sauerkraut and warm in the microwave. Pat the sauerkraut dry with a paper towel and squeeze out the excess juice. Be sure to get as much liquid out of the sauerkraut as you can; otherwise your sandwiches will get soggy. Butter the slices of the bread and assemble sandwiches with corned beef slices, slices of cheese, and 1-2 tablespoons drained sauerkraut each, buttered sides of the bread facing out. Grill both sides of the sandwich until crisp. After the sandwiches are browned, add the Thousand Island dressing to the sandwich.
Corned Beef on Rye Plus
- Sliced corned beef
- Swiss cheese slices
- 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 head lettuce, chopped
- 1 sweet or red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 carton alfalfa sprouts, washed and drained
- Horseradish (optional)
- Dark rye bread
Assemble sandwiches with listed ingredients. For an additional yummy, spicy extra, use horseradish spread with the mayonnaise and mustard. The sprouts are a nice added texture and earthy flavor to this refreshing sandwich.
Enjoy the sandwiches and the (hopefully warm) weather!