Did you see the recent Instagram takeover from the master sandwich-crafters at San Francisco sammie heavens Rye Project and Deli Board? Good! Did you salivate the whole time? Us too. Things got messy, and that’s okay. Check out this bonus recipe from chef-owner Adam Mesnick, whose Cleveland roots run deep. Deep-fried, that is. Seek out Cleveland Stadium mustard at all costs, then fire up the fryer.
Sauerkraut balls are really a Cleveland thing — I have never seen them anywhere else, and they are definitely a favorite of mine. I bussed tables when I was a kid, at restaurant called the Beach Wood Pub, and I totally tie this dish to that spot. This recipe is a spin on their version, but these are premium, because we use the best corned beef we can. It’s only a special on our menu (because they are super-special). A tip for the home cook: Pull out the Fry Daddy.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cups corned beef, cubed
- 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
- 1 cup cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 slices rye bread (day-old is best)
- canola or vegetable oil for frying
- 3 eggs
- Salt and pepper
For the sauerkraut balls
Sauté the onion in the unsalted butter until golden brown, then allow to cool.
Add sauerkraut and corned beef to food processor. Blend for 20 seconds, but don't overdo it. You want the mixture to remain chunky.
Add mixture to onions and mix well. Add cream cheese, remove pan from stovetop and allow to cool.
Using your hands, roll the cooled mixture into one-inch balls.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper.
Toast bread until crispy, and process until ground to preference — we prefer a fine bread crumb. Season with salt and pepper.
Dip balls on egg mixture and roll in rye crumbs until completely coated. Fry at 350°F until golden brown, about 2 or 3 minutes.
Serve with Cleveland Stadium mustard for dipping.