The Sandwich Diaries ~ Das Good!

The Sandwich Diaries ~ Das Good!

Oh, Dunderbak, Oh Dunderbak,  How could you be so mean?
To ever  have invented the sausage meat machine?
Now all the rats and pussy cats will never more be seen,
they’ve all been ground to sausages in Dunderbak’s machine.

Back in the late 80’s I ran Mr. Dunderbak’s,  a German Delicatessen in Marietta. I adored the place. It was cheesy, kitschy, and everything you’d expect in a “Disney-gone-wrong” kind of theme restaurant.

But, for everything that was wrong with the atmosphere – we had excellent food… an extensive deli.. and at that time…items you just couldn’t get anywhere else. I carried authentic German meats and sausages, superior cheeses and a full line of imported beer. I still think about our Reuben Sandwich sizzling on the griddle and a slow cooked pot of German Potato Salad…and drool.

I thought today I’d just treat us all to a trip to Germany – ish  … So crank up the polka music, donne your Lederhosen, and dust off that tacky beer stein you bought in Helen.
Es ist Zeit für das Abendessen!!

Grilled Reuben

Makes 4 Sandwiches


1 14 ounce Can Kraut  – We’ re going to be making weinkraut out of it

1 Cup White Wine

1 1/2 pounds  Thinly Sliced Corned Beef

8 Slices good aged Swiss cheese

8 Slices Bakery Style Artisan Rye Bread

1000 Island Dressing

1 Stick Butter

1 Small saucepan

2 Large frying pans
or griddle plates

In a small sauce pan – Place the kraut, white wine and 1 tablespoon butter and cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally. (You want to cook off most of the liquids – about 20 minutes)

When the weinkraut is ready – Spread 1000 dressing on both slices of bread – for each sandwich

Place 1 slice of cheese on each slice of bread

Place 4 Ounces of Corned Beef on each slice of bread – Spread the meat out so that it covers edge to edge

Spread 1/4 of the weinkraut on 4 of the prepared slices – again, cover the corned beef edge to edge

Place the remaining halves on top of the kraut halves

Place a griddle or large frying pan on medium heat

Melt a tablespoon of butter in the pan and set the sandwich on top

Place the second frying pan on top of the sandwich to press the sandwich

Cook about 3 minutes (your Reuben should be golden brown and crispy when its ready to turn over)

Turn over and repeat the butter and frying

Slice the sandwich in 1/2 and serve with German Potato Salad (next up)

 German Potato Salad

Serves 10 to 12 – It freezes well


1 Cup Diced Bacon

1/4 Cup Bacon Drippings

1 Cup Chopped Celery

1 Cup Chopped Onion

3 Tablespoons Plain Flour

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

2/3 Cup Sugar

2/3 Cup Cider Vinegar

1/3 Cup Chopped Parsley

1 1/2 Cups Water

2 Teaspoons Celery Seed

2 Quarts Red Skinned Potatoes – Sliced 1/8″ Thick and Blanched

Tools of the Trade:

1 – 13″ x 8″ x 2″ casserole dish

Medium Sauce Pan

Spoons and Spatulas

Preheat oven to 375

In a medium sauce pan, fry the bacon
Remove the bacon from the grease and set aside – Retain the bacon dripping in the pan – (if there isn’t 1/4 cup of bacon fat, add vegetable oil to make up the difference)

Add the celery and onions to the fat and cook til transparent

Add the flour, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly

Bring the heat up to High.
Add the Sugar, Vinegar, and water and stir with a whisk.
Bring the liquid to a boil and cook 1 minute
Add the Celery Seed, Parsley and Bacon, stir to combine and remove from the heat

Layer the potato slices into the casserole dish and pour the sauce over and toss lightly to coat.


Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 20 minutes.


Knockwurst and Red Curry

Serves 4


8 Knockwurst – A good deli should have them – If you cannot find them, you can try this recipe with  Jumbo Franks – you just wont get the same crackle and crunch that knockwurst have.

1 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Cup Chopped Celery

1 Cup Diced Tomatoes – or – 1 – 14 Ounce can of petite diced tomatoes with the juice

1/4 Cup Tomato Ketchup

1 Tablespoon Curry Powder

1 Teaspoon Sugar

1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1 Tablespoon Butter

Tools of the Trade:

Medium Sauce Pan

1 – 9″ x 9″ Pyrex Baking dish


Tin Foil

Preheat Oven to 350

In a medium saucepan – Add the Celery, Onions, Salt, Pepper and butter and cook until transparent

Add the tomatoes, ketchup, sugar and curry powder, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutesPlace the knockwurst in a 9″ x 9″ baking dish

Pour the curry sauce over sausages

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes at 350

Serve hot with weinkraut, German Potato Salad, and a big chunk of hearty artisan bread

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