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God I Love a Reuben

September 17, 2009 | Frank Bonanno

For a long, long time now, I’ve wanted to put a Reuben on the panini menu at the Osteria(O-stir-eeeee-ah). Finally, last week I was craving one for myself so badly I took action.

No, it’s not a distinctly Italian sandwich–but I will give Marco this one because of the artistry in every single element executed from from scratch. Cook, cure, and smoke the beef; whip the tomato aioli; dice the cabbage with radicchio and carrots . . .

A full five days after the craving hit (three days to brine, one day to air dry with spices, one day to smoke and roast), I finally have the sandwich that’s been chasing me. My wife wonders if I’m not sick of the whole idea by now, and hasn’t the longing passed . . .but, like pizza, it’s one of those foods I could probably eat every day. To me, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a fatty, unhealthy fistful of Reuben dripping with sauce.

And the one I enjoyed yesterday (with a strong, tannic Sangiovese to cut through the smoke and fat) was just as fantastic as the one I’m going to have later today (with a Barolo?).