Once St. Patrick’s Day is over, everyone is left with the challenge of what to do with the leftover corned beef. In the past I have made corned beef sandwiches, but I have never tried combining corned beef and coleslaw before. And I have to admit these Corned Beef Sandwiches with Dill-Ranch Coleslaw are pretty darned amazing!
Serving corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day is actually an American tradition started by Irish immigrants. When they arrived here beef was plentiful and inexpensive, so they adapted their traditional meals to incorporate the new local ingredients.
Corned beef is a fairly strong-flavored meat that stands up well to bold flavors which is why it is often served with a variety of mustards. When I was thinking about what to add to my sandwich, I decided that a cabbage slaw was a fun addition to the norm, but didn’t want the typical mild, sweet version.
I decided to use a combination of dill, celery seed, and ranch dressing seasoning to boost the flavor profile and added bell peppers. It is wonderful and absolutely perfect for the corned beef sandwiches. Both The Artist and I really enjoyed them for dinner!
You can use ranch dressing packets for flavoring, but I used Penzey’s Buttermilk Ranch Dressing and Dip. It gives you a very similar flavor and you can customize it to suit your own preferences. The extra dill was nicely balanced and the celery seed gave it some of the expected traditional flavor.
Because The Artist doesn’t like his slaw too wet I had extra dressing left over. I added some more mayonnaise and buttermilk, turning it into a thinner ranch-style salad dressing. It will make a nice lunch today with greens and chopped fresh vegetables. You could also use this dressing as a dip for crudité vegetables. I’ll bet you would love it!
I hope you enjoyed your St. Patrick’s celebrations, wore your green, and said “Go Maire Tu” (May You Live Long) to the leprechauns! Today is the day to make these wonderful Corned Beef Sandwiches with Dill-Ranch Coleslaw. Enjoy!
Have a fabulous weekend!!
Key Ingredients for Corned Beef Sandwiches with Dill-Ranch Coleslaw:
- Napa cabbage, bell peppers, mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar
- Dill, celery seed, ranch dressing mix, sugar, salt, pepper
- Bread, mustard, corned beef, Swiss, Gruyere, or Monterey Jack cheese
Make the slaw a couple of days in advance so you don’t have to wait for it when you want your sandwiches. This recipe easily doubles or triples for larger gatherings. The longer it sits, the wetter it becomes (because the cabbage continues to give off liquid). Drain off the excess before placing on the sandwiches or they will be soggy!!
Cutting lettuce and cabbage with a metal knife can accelerate discoloration. Use a ceramic knife if you have one anytime you are making coleslaw or chopping salad.
How to make Corned Beef Sandwiches with Dill-Ranch Coleslaw:
- Prep the Cabbage: Salt the sliced cabbage, tossing to coat and let rest in a colander about 20 minutes; rinse under running water to remove all the salt
- Add bell peppers to the cabbage and set the colander aside to drain for another 10 minutes; if you have a salad spinner, spin the cabbage to remove all the excess water, if you don’t have a spinner, just shake the colander well
- Make the Dressing: Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, dill, celery seed, ranch seasoning, and sugar; whisk until smooth then whisk in salt and pepper to taste
- Make the Slaw: Place the cabbage and peppers in a clean, thin cotton dish towel and twist to remove excess liquid; transfer to a large mixing bowl
- Pour a few tablespoons of the dressing over the cabbage, tossing until everything is evenly coated; cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to chill ideally, then bring out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes ahead of serving
- Assemble the Sandwiches: Set out slices of bread, spread half with mustard and the other half with mayonnaise, add slices of cheese on all the bread slices, then corned beef on half the slices; top the meat with a scoop of slaw, top with the remaining bread slices, cut in half and serve immediately
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by adding 1 tsp vinegar to 3 tbsp milk. Let stand for a few minutes then stir to thicken the milk. This is in addition to the vinegar called for in the recipe.
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If you are gluten free and want to make your own bread, you can try my Sorghum Sandwich Bread recipe. It is written to use a gluten-free bread machine, but I can add directions to make it with your heavy-duty stand mixer and baking it in your oven. Let me know if you’re interested and I can post the directions.
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Do this for each flour blend you use. Commercial blends such as Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
- 1/2 head Napa cabbage, finely sliced or chopped
- 1 tbsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 2 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (low fat is fine)
- 3 tbsp buttermilk
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
- 1 tsp ground celery seed
- 1 tsp buttermilk ranch dressing base
- 1 to 2 tsp granulated sugar, to taste (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 8 slices of sturdy bread or gluten-free bread, toasted
- Coarse mustard
- 1/3 to 1/2 lb thinly sliced leftover corned beef, at room temperature
- 8 slices Swiss, Gruyere, or Monterey Jack cheese
- Prep the Cabbage: Place the sliced cabbage in a colander set over a large bowl or in the sink. Sprinkle liberally with salt, toss well, and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking the colander occasionally. This will help draw out most of the moisture from the cabbage while leaving it crisp. Rinse under cold running water, tossing to be certain all excess salt has been washed away. Shake the colander well to remove excess liquid.
- Add the peppers to the cabbage and toss together and set the colander to drain for another 10 minutes, shaking the colander occasionally to remove excess liquid.
- Make the Dressing: While the cabbage is draining, in a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, dill, celery seed, ranch base, and sugar. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings until you get the flavor you like. Keep the dressing thicker than normal because there will be residual liquid in the cabbage that will thin it.
- Make the Slaw: Open a clean thin cotton kitchen towel and place the cabbage and peppers in the center. Pull the ends up together and twist until tight. The tighter you twist the towel the more liquid will be extracted. Squeeze the towel to release as much of the excess liquid as possible. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Pour 2 to 3 tbsp of the dressing over the cabbage and peppers. Toss until everything is evenly coated, adding more of the sauce if needed. Some people like really “wet” slaw and others prefer a drier version.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until cool, 2 to 3 hours. If you prefer warm slaw on your sandwiches, you can skip the chilling or remove the slaw from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving to warm up.
- Assemble the Sandwiches: Set out the slices of bread in sets of two on a work surface. Spread half with the mustard and the other slices with the mayonnaise. Place a slice of cheese on each piece of bread, top half of the bread with the corned beef. Place a large spoonful of slaw on top of the meat. Set the second set of bread pieces (with the cheese) on top of the slaw.
- Cut each sandwich in half and serve immediately. Store any leftover slaw, covered, in the refrigerator up to a week.
- Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
If you want to turn the leftover slaw dressing into a salad dressing, whisk in another couple of tablespoons each of mayonnaise and buttermilk until thinned. Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to two weeks.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 867Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 2999mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 4gSugar: 14gProtein: 36g
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