|Messy but perfect|
First, bread. We often stop off in Shirehampton first. There's a great butchers in Shirehampton run by Tubbs and Paul. Their ham is tremendous, and the new cider ham is a knockout. We weren't heading into Shire for ham, but when we tasted it we had to get some.
What we were going to Shire for was some sourdough bread for our Reubens. The village bakery in Shire is supplied by the Redland Village Bakery and is always excellent. The sourdough we had today is some of the best bread I've tasted. Gorgeous!
Next, pastrami. Bristol isn't short on delis, but we favour the deli counter at Murray's butchers (T & P.A. Murray) on Gloucester Road. Or is it Cheltenham Road? I dunno, I don't know where one ends and the other begins. They stock the best salamis, chorizos, cheeses and pies in town. The pastrami we bought was great and very good value.
And so back home. The kitchen almost immediately looked like a bomb site as we undid packages for tasting and got cracking with the Reubens.
I sliced some sourdough, drizzled it with olive oil and put it in a hot griddle pan. I then busied myself doing very little whilst the missus made the all-important Russian dressing, using a recipe from Tom Oldroyd of Mishkins (winner of best menu item award - All pork Big Apple dog, dragged through the garden)!
Place an egg, juice of 1/2 a lemon, pinch of salt and one of pepper and 2 tsp of Dijon into a processor. Add 2 tsp of jarred horseradish, 3 tbsp ketchup, a few drops of Tabasco and a few of Worcestershire sauce and 1 tsp of paprika. Sounds like a lot I know, but it is all stuff that you'll probably have. Blitz. Then stir in a some chopped gherkin and a couple of chopped spring onions. Pow! A totally knockout dressing, and vital for the perfect Reuben.
With the bread toasting nicely in the pan I grated some cheddar. Ideally we'd have had some emmenthal or other Swiss cheese. Not to worry, it's hard to beat a good cheddar.
And so to the Reuben. A piece of toasted sourdough is given a generous spread of Russian dressing. Then follows a generous portion of pastrami, a small mountain of sauerkraut and a reasonably sized hill of cheddar. Top that with another slice of toasted sourdough which has been liberally covered with Russian dressing.