Chef Roman Jimenez knows that using the very best ingredients yields bigger flavors and better textures. As executive chef at Macallans Public House in Brea Downtown, he advocates “from-scratch” cuisine.
His irresistible Corned Beef Sliders showcase the best of the best. He corns his own beef in-house, a brine-then-sous vide operation. He makes his own pickles. And his scrumptious slider sauce is a thousand island-style concoction spiked with a just-right amount of sriracha hot sauce.
Of course, home cooks can substitute high quality store-bought goods, such as Boar’s Head corned beef brisket and high-quality pickles. Before serving, just be sure to nuance the flavors and texture by heating the beef in a small amount of broth (a mix of chicken and beef broth). And the halved pretzel buns should be toasted until crisp and nicely browned. In butter, of course.
The salad-like sauerkraut garnish is luscious. It’s a combination of sauerkraut, green onions, chopped kale and slivers of red cabbage. When we shot the video at my house, Chef Jimenez also added chopped Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi. Delicious crunch, indeed – a welcome texture contrast.
Slices of creamy Havarti cheese teamed up to turn these sliders into sandwich perfection.
Make these, or swing over to Macallans – St. Patrick’s Day or any day. (If you decide to go to Macallans, be sure to also try their great Irish coffee and bread pudding that is rich with toasted challah and creme anglaise.)
Chef Roman Jimenez lives in Anaheim with his son, sixteen year-old “Little” Roman.
Fave Eats: Jimenez’ favorite local eateries include Playground, Santa Ana, and VIP Tacos, Anaheim. He comes from a family that appreciates great homemade food and says that his mother, grandmother, aunts, and uncles always have something super delicious simmering on the stove. And he says that his mother has shown him that food is a powerful force that brings families together and changes lives.
In the Freezer: His home freezer always has ice cream, Bagel Bites and bones.
Favorite adult drink: Johnnie Walker Black, neat.
Binge Watch: Once on a rainy day off, he ordered a pizza and watched the Fargo TV series on FX. He was intrigued at how crazy events change lives in different ways, even in small towns.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY AT MACALLANS: A full day of festivities include live entertainment, Irish fare and libations at the Brea pub; preceding weekend will feature “St. Practice” promotions. On Thursday, March 17, Macallans Public House (330 W Birch St., Brea Downtown) will host a lively St. Patrick’s Day celebration from 10 a.m.-2 a.m. A full day of festivities includes performances by live bands, DJ, a strolling bagpiper and Irish-inspired food and spirits. www.macallanspubbrea.com
Macallans’ Corned Beef Sliders
Sauce: 1 cup high-quality mayonnaise (such as Best Foods), 1/2 cup yellow “ballpark” mustard, 1/2 cup chili sauce (such as Heinz), 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 small dill pickle (finely diced), 1 tablespoon pickle juice and 2 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
2 tablespoons chicken broth mixed with 2 tablespoons beef broth
2 pounds sliced corned beef (if home-cooked, cut slices 1/4-inch thick against grain on the bias)
About 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 pretzel slider buns with soft interiors, halved
2 cups store-bought sauerkraut, from refrigerated deli case
4 trimmed green onions, thinly sliced
2 large kale leaves, chopped coleslaw-style
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage, cut into bite-sized pieces
Optional: small amount of shredded Brussels sprouts and/or kohlrabi
12 pickle slices (Jimenez’ homemade pickles are mild, crisp dills)
12 thin slices Havarti cheese
Optional: sandwich picks
1. Combine all sauce ingredients in medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Stir again before using. Leftover sauce can be used for salad dressing or on burgers or other sandwiches.
2. Heat corned beef: In a large deep skillet on medium-high heat, heat the broths. Add corned beef and turning beef, cook until heated through; set aside.
3. Toast buns: Melt butter in large deep skillet on medium-high heat. Add buns cut-sides down. Heat until nicely browned on cut sides. Remove and set aside.
4. For salad-like sauerkraut: In medium bowl, combine sauerkraut, green onions, kale and cabbage; toss.
5. Assemble. Spread sauce on both cut sides of buns. On bottom bun place one slice of pickle; top with Havarti, warm meat, sauerkraut mixture, and top bun. Repeat to make about 11 more sliders. If desired, secure each sandwich with a sandwich pick.
Source: Roman Jimenez, executive chef Macallans Public House, Brea Downtown
Here’s a quick tip from Melissa’s Produce … lettuce wraps
My family loves these delicious lettuce wraps. Instead of ground pork, ground turkey comes to the party! They are flavor-boosted with 5-spice powder and hoisin sauce. Jicama, carrots and bell peppers bring added crunch.
Eat them like tacos!
Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1/2 cup raw brown rice (I use Texmati long-grain brown rice)
2 heads of Bibb lettuce (Boston lettuce)
1 1/2 teaspoons Asian-style roasted sesame oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut into narrow crosswise strips
1/2 cup peeled, finely diced jicama
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon 5-spice powder
Garnish: shredded carrots and chopped fresh cilantro or fresh mint
1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Separate lettuce leaves; rinse in cold water and drain (I like to put them in a single layer on clean dish towels).
2. In a large deep skillet heat sesame oil on medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add turkey and ginger; cook, breaking up meat with a spatula or sturdy spoon, until meat is cooked through about 5 minutes. Add rice, bell pepper, jicama, broth, hoisin sauce, and 5-spice powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until broth is almost evaporated and vegetables are heated through. Place lettuce “cups” in single layer on a platter. Spoon filling onto lettuce; top with shredded carrots and cilantro or mint. Serve.