Hot Cajun Pastrami Sandwich

Stirrin' It Up: Hot Cajun Pastrami Sandwich (January 14)

(Air date: January 14, 2016. Source: Chef John Folse)

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Yields: 8 Sandwiches


2 pounds peppered pastrami, thinly sliced

2 pounds corned beef, thinly sliced

4 cups Choucroute Garni (See recipe below)

8 slices "big eye" Swiss cheese

16 slices rye bread

1 cup thousand island dressing


Preheat panini press to medium-high heat. Remove sauerkraut from cooked choucroute garni and set aside. Dress one side of each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon thousand island dressing. Assemble sandwiches with equal portions of peppered pastrami and corned beef. Evenly distribute ½ cup cooked sauerkraut on top of meat and top with 1 slice of swiss cheese cover with another slice of dressed rye bread. Spray panini press with nonstick cooking spray and place sandwich in the middle. Close lid of panini press and allow to cook 1−2 minutes or until bread is toasted and cheese begins to melt. Continue cooking process on panini press with remaining sandwiches. Serve warm.


Prep Time: 2 Hours

Yields: 8 Servings


Sauerkraut is one of the most underrated dishes in the South. Most southerners are reminded of the sour, bitter kraut they were served during their elementary school days, rather than the richly garnished sauerkraut of Alsace Lorraine, France. Olga Hirsch brought this recipe from that region when she moved to Donaldsonville in the 1940s. It is a classic and well worth the effort! Use a German beer such as the Covington, Louisiana-based Heiner Brau to make this dish even better!


3 (32-ounce) jars Vlassic® sauerkraut

½ pound cubed bacon

3 links heavy-smoked sausage, cooked

1 bone-in ham steak

8 thinly sliced pork chops

2 cups diced onions

¼ cup minced garlic

8 small potatoes, quartered

1½ tbsps flour

salt and black pepper to taste

6 (6-inch) Bratwursts

1 quart chicken stock

1 (12-ounce) bottle beer

1 cup dry white wine

2 small bay leaves

6 juniper berries


The secret to great sauerkraut is removing the sour brine from cabbage. Prior to cooking, rinse product under cold running water 2–3 times and drain well. In a medium sauté pan, sweat the onions and garlic without adding any color and set aside. In another medium sauté pan, render the fat from the bacon without adding any color then set aside. In a large Dutch oven, put a layer of sauerkraut, bacon, sausage, ham steak, pork chops, onions, garlic, potatoes, flour, salt and black pepper in the pot. Continue to layer ingredients until all the ingredients are used. Arrange the Bratwursts on top of the other ingredients. Add chicken stock, beer, wine, bay leaves and juniper berries. Bring mixture to a rolling boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pot with a sheet of aluminum foil and then the lid. Simmer 1½ hours. You may need to turn the Bratwursts over during cooking process to ensure that it cooks all the way through. Serve sauerkraut with equal portions of meat.