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“THE REUBEN” SLAB PIE

SERVES 12-18

Whenever I find myself having lunch at an old-fashioned delicatessen, the grilled sandwich of corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese—the Reuben—calls to me. It seemed fitting to create a pie with similar leanings. While the triad of beef, cabbage, and cheese is what describes this beautiful sandwich, it’s the sauce that makes it exceptional. “Russian” dressing, much maligned and sadly overlooked in recent years, with its midcentury mix of mayo and ketchup, is the ying to this yang. Deli corned beef is a little tangier, and corned beef from a boiled dinner is a little sweeter: Both are delicious. Use either, but be sure to taste the filling for salt. Some of the meat will include fat, which should be added to the pie filling (diced) or the filling will be dry. This rich, flavorful pie is an alternative for leftover corned beef hash, stretching what remains to feed more people.

Make Ahead: The filling may be made up to 3 days ahead.

RYE CRUST

  • 1-3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon (225 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (100 g) rye flour
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, cubed and frozen for 20 minutes
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) Spectrum or other vegetable shortening, cubed and frozen for 20 minutes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) ice water
  • 3 teaspoons ice cold vodka, optional

FILLING

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) mayonnaise (not low-fat)
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) ketchup
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) finely minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds (900 g) corned beef, chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 2 cups (455 g) sauerkraut, well drained
  • Up to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on the saltiness of the corned beef and sauerkraut
  • 4 ounces (175 g) Swiss cheese, grated (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon cool water
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds

DIRECTIONS

For the crustIn the food processor, pulse the flours, butter, shortening, and salt until the fats are in small pieces coated with flour, about 15 times. Add the ice water and vodka (if using) all at once and process until the mixture almost forms a ball. Form the dough into a 6- by 4-inch rectangle using plastic wrap and a bench scraper to firmly press the dough into a cohesive form. Wrap tightly and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm slightly. Divide the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger piece to 11 by 15 inches and place in the slab pie pan, pressing it into the corners of the pan and allowing the excess to drape over the sides. Refrigerate. Roll out the second piece of dough to 10 by 14 inches, place it on a lightly floured sheet of parchment, and refrigerate.

Heat the oven to 425°F; if you have one, place a baking stone, Baking Steel, or inverted baking sheet on the center rack to heat

For the fillingIn a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, onion, horseradish, and pepper for the “Russian” dressing. Add the corned beef and toss like a salad to keep the mixture light. Combine a spoonful of filling and a pinch of sauerkraut together and taste to evaluate the saltiness; salt only if needed. Spread the sauerkraut across the bottom crust. Spoon the corned beef filling over the sauerkraut and cover with an even layer of cheese. Drape the top crust over the filling. Crimp and slash.

Whisk the egg yolk and water until thoroughly blended. With a pastry brush, paint the top but not the edges of the crust. Scatter caraway seeds across the surface. Bake (on top of the steel, stone, or baking sheet if using) for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake until the crust is deeply golden brown and the filling is hot all the way through, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.