Reuben Galumpkis

Celebrant-ing like a mother.

Back in the day, I was quite the St. Patrick’s day celebrant.  I’d spend the day at my local pub, getting all caught up in the magic.  I have quite a bit of Irish blood and something about that beautiful folk music and jubilant dancing just swept me away in the spirit…

Sigh!  Now I am a mama, and there’s no more sipping pints all day in a dark pub for me.  But I still want to make the day feel special, and I’m always up for creating a fun recipe.

Here is a clever idea for a fun St. Patrick’s day dinner with all the flavors of a grilled reuben rolled up into a perfect little package.

In my neck of the woods, there aren’t very many (or any) really good Jewish delis where I can buy the most delicious corned beef that my food-snobby Jewish husband craves, so I decided to make my own.  It was easy, but time consuming, so I made it a day ahead.  And it gave me lots of extra so I can make other yummy corned beefy dishes with the leftovers (Corned Beef Hash with Poached Eggs?  Colcannon?).  I just bought one of these at my local grocery store:

…it came with a little spice packet:

…which I sprinkled over the meat:

…and then I just plopped it into the crock pot and covered it with water.

I left it go all day on high, with the lid on, and it came out falling-apart tender.  After I trimmed the fat off, I chunked it up and put it into a bowl to start my reuben galumpki filling…

In case you are not a food nerd, such as myself, and you are maybe wondering what a galumpki is, it’s a Polish stuffed cabbage roll.  They are a big deal in the midwestern part of the U.S.  Usually they are filled with ground meat, onions, and rice, and covered with a sweet and sour tomato sauce.  But you know I just can’t leave well enough alone.

I used about half of my corned beef brisket, and added about six thin slices of seeded rye bread, cubed, a couple of handfuls of grated swiss cheese, and about a half cup of prepared thousand island dressing.

If you don’t have thousand island dressing on hand, you can make your own by combining equal parts mayo and ketchup, and adding in a few tablespoons of pickle relish.  If you don’t have pickle relish on hand, you can skip it and call it Russian dressing.

Toss to combine…

…and get going on the cabbage.  I cut out the core, and carefully peeled the leaves off, one at a time.  Put a big pot of salted water on to boil…

…and sink the cabbage leaves in so they can get soft.

It took about five minutes, and then I drained them on a clean towel.

They are a perfect little bowl shape, just begging to be filled with something delicious.  But, some of the larger leaves do have a tough vein that should be removed.

A scoop of reuben filling, into the cabbage bowl…

…and roll it up tight, like a little burrito.  Keep going until the baking dish is all filled up and the stuffing is gone.

I sprayed my baking dish with a little canola oil so things wouldn’t stick.  And covered it tightly with foil and baked for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

My kitchen smelled lovely: cheesy and corned beefy and Irish pubby…

Oh, it takes me back, to the good old days!

We’ll be enjoying these with a pint of Guinness, at home, this St. Pat’s, and nicknaming them “Leprechaun Food,” in hopes of enticing our preschoolers to take a nibble…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all our readers; Cead Mile Failte!

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