All Irish, All Week.
March 14 8:17 PM

An Omaha Original - The Reuben Sandwich

Did you know the original Rueben Sandwich was invented in Omaha?

In the 1920’s Reuben Kulakofsky, then owner of Central Market at 17th and Farnam Streets, created the Reuben. The story goes that Reuben and his buddies met regularly to play poker at Omaha's grand Blackstone Hotel at 36th and Farnam. According to Omaha World-Herald Food Editor Jane Palmer, "Out of each pot, they'd save a nickel or a dime and, later in the day, they'd phone for a cold midnight lunch." What came were cold cuts, bread, condiments, etc., from which the players concocted their own sandwiches. The favorite, hands down, was Reuben Kulakofsy's creation. Blackstone owner Charles Schimmel, one of the "regulars," thought so much of this sandwich he put it on the hotel menu and called it a "Reuben." (btw, Albert Wohlner, then owner of Wohlner’s Market at 33rd and California was probably there when the Rueben was invented. Albert was one of the “regulars” at those Blackstone poker games. Albert was Mike’s grandfather.)


Makes 2 sandwiches

  • 4-5 ounces of sliced Corned Beef --you need at least 4 slices (you may either cook and slice your own corned beef, or buy Boarshead Deli Corned Beef, both are on sale this week.)
  • 4 ounces Swiss Emmenthaler Cheese, 4- one ounce slices
  • 1/4 cup or more Sauerkraut, well drained but not rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons Thousand Island Dressing
  • 4 slices dark rye bread
  • butter, softened to room temp


  1. Mix drained sauerkraut with Thousand Island Dressing.
  2. Butter one side of each bread slice. Lay bread, unbuttered side up, side by side.
  3. On each of the 4 slices of bread place one slice of Swiss Cheese, a quarter of the sauerkraut mixture, and a slice of corned beef.
  4. Fold the 4 pieces to make 2 sandwiches.
  5. Grill on hot griddle or skillet until each side is toasted brown and cheese is melted.
  6. Serve immediately.

Guinness Marinated Wohlner’s Aged and Hand Cut Flank Steaks with a Guinness Shallot and Rosemary Sauce

Ripped straight from the restaurant at the famous Guinness Brewery in Dublin. This legendary dish is the most ordered item from the biggest destination in Dublin, or even Ireland.

According to Guinness Chef Mark Smyth, the stout in the marinade breaks down, tenderizes and flavors the beef. You can use any cut of good steak, Ribeye, Sirloin, Strip, etc, and Flank Steak is perfect for this and it’s on sale this week at Wohlners where it’s aged then hand cut.

The recipe is especially easy because the simple marinade doubles as a delicious sauce once it has been boiled down per the recipe. Note: If a marinade comes in contact with raw meat, don’t ever use a raw uncooked marinade as a sauce unless it has been boiled and cooked as we properly do here.


  • 1 lb or more Wohlner’s Flank Steak (or other Wohlner’s steak)
  • 1 shallot, quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled pressed (or finely minced)
  • 3-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp steak seasoning (your favorite or Montreal, or 2/3 tsp. salt and 1/3 t. black pepper)
  • 16 ounce Guinness Stout Draught –divided
  • 1 or 2 Tbls. Canola or high smoke-temp oil (not olive oil)
  • 2 ounces of butter—cut into pats (optional but it finishes the sauce and makes it velvety)


  1. Trim fat and cut steak(s) into 4 ounce serving size pieces and remove any fat.
  2. In a large dish zip lock plastic bag combine shallots, garlic, steak seasoning and 12 ounces of the Guinness. Seal and shake to mix. Add steak to bag and marinate for 2-3 hours in refridge.
  3. In a very hot skillet with a little canola oil or high smoke-temp oil (not olive oil), sear the meat for 2 minutes per side for rare, longer if you prefer more well done. Remove to a warm plate and cover.
  4. Add the marinade plus the remaining 4 oz. of the Guinness to the skillet and boil over high heat to reduce by about 2/3rds--to about 4 ounces. Remove rosemary and shallots from the sauce.
  5. Place steaks and pats of butter into skillet to melt the butter and briefly warm the steaks. Shake the pan to incorporate and emulsify the butter.
  6. Serve steaks with reduction sauce spooned or drizzled over them.

Note: The quantity of sauce is probably enough for up to 2 pounds of steak. After that scale up the amount of the marinade.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve with your choice of potatoes, green beans, tossed salad and Wohlner’s Sourdough Bread.
  • For dessert serve Guinness Chocolate Cake, Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake, or Bread Pudding with Carolan’s Irish Cream Sauce.
  • Finally, make some Irish Coffee or Carolan’s Irish Cream Coffee.

Guinness Stout

Guinness Stout is renowned the world over, and when you think of Guinness you immediately think of Ireland and Dublin pubs. It has creamy flavors of chocolate and coffee with wonderful bitter notes. Well now I can just hear you thinking, eww, bitter? OK, drinking Guinness isn’t for everyone, but hey, bitter is one of the 4 tastes are tongue perceives; bitter is why we like coffee and chocolate and beer. Sugar and milk products work to turn the bitter into the sublime---think caramel lattes at Starbucks and luxurious chocolate candies and cakes. So let’s turn this iconic Irish indulgence into incredible desserts for St. Patrick’s Day.

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

Here is the way everyone can enjoy the wonders of Guinness Stout when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish. This is a rich, moist and flavorful chocolate cake. All the flavors are ideally balanced—not too chocolaty, not too sweet, not too dense, not over the top rich. I took this to an early St. Patirck’sDay party on Saturday and it went fast and got rave reviews.

I made the cake batter in one dutch oven so it’s easy and quick to make and the clean up was easy. (A big saucepan would work equally as well.)

The recipe calls for baking it in a 9 inch springform pan which yields a cake about 2.5”-3” high, yet that is too high for a regular 9” cake pan. If you want or need to use regular cake pan use 2 cake pans lined with parchment, and make a 2 layer cake—I think there is enough frosting to do so. Reduce the baking time to (I’m guessing here) 25-30 minutes.

You could even make cupcakes which would be very cool.

Guinness Chocolate Cake Recipe

(adapted from New York Times which adapted from Nigella Lawson)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
Cooling time: 2 to 3 hours (Once it was slightly cool I sped this up in the refridge)
Makes 12-16 slices. (I did 16 slices)


  • Butter for pan
  • 8 oz. Guinness stout, (that leaves ½ pint for lucky you to drink) 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter (I used sweet butter)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, (sifting helps break lumps)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan, dust bottom with a little extra cocoa and set aside.
  2. Place large saucepan or small dutch oven over medium heat and add Guinness and butter. Heat just until butter melts, you don’t want it boiling.Then remove from stove top. In the pan but off the heat, whisk cocoa and sugar into Guinness mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add this to Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth—don’t over beat. The mixture will be rather wet, so don’t worry. Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the middle comes out dry. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.
  4. When cool, run a knife around inside of pan to loosen cake. Remove cake from pan and cake palte or on a stand bottom side up (or should I say, “Bottoms up.”)
  5. Frost the cake with a cream cheese frosting, preferably a frosting with a bit of Carolyn’s Irish Cream, or Bailey’s in it, and maybe a little bit of Irish Whisky, like Jameson.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheese Frosting

(Carolan’s Irish Cream is a good substitute for Bailey’s and it’s at a great special price this week at Wohlner’s. btw, I used Carolan’s in making my test cake.


  • 1 - 8oz. bar of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 - 4oz. stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1.75 cups powdered sugar, (some recipes use 2 cups)
  • 4 to 6 Tablespoons of Bailey’s or Carolan’s Irish Cream


  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth.

Irish Car Bomb Cream Cheese Icing

Use the Bailey’s Irish Frosting recipe above with just 4 Tablespoons of Bailey’s or Carolan’s Irish Cream, 2 teaspoons Irish Whiskey and 1 teaspoon Guinness.

A sweet idea for the office or a party: Irish Car Bomb Frosted Pretzels Pretzels dipped into Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting!

When I made the Irish Cream Frosting I increased all recipe by 50% (multiplied each ingredient by 1.5) so I had extra frosting. Then I divided the extra into halves and made some Irish Car Bomb Frosting to see what it tastes like—and it was good! A small splash of Jameson Irish Whisky and smaller splash of Guinness was mixed into the small amount Bailey’s Frosting At the party I set the frostings out in a bowls and we dipped pretzels into the Irish Cream Frosting and the Car Bomb Frosting. The crunchy and salt pretzels combined with creamy sweetness and a hint of bitterness from the Carolan’s.

Just more party ideas you won’t get anywhere but Wohlner’s!

Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake

Kevin Lynch (now that’s an Irish name!) has a dozen or so St. Patrick’s Day recipes available on his blog, and he said if you only make one of those then his Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake is the must-make recipe item.

This Celtic concoction combines dense cream cheese, deep-dark chocolate, tangy sour cream, a little rich heavy cream, all of which balance wonderfully with the dark creamy rich goodness of Guinness. The light foamy viscosity of Guinness transform this cheesecake into something almost soufflé-like.

Kevin Lynch Closet Cooking Blog, used with permission)


  • 1 cup crushed graham crackers or chocolate cookies wafers
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, 24 ounces total
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Guinness Stout


  1. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, sugar, and butter and press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the cream in a double boile, then let cool somewhat.
  3. Cream the cream cheese in a food processor or a mixer with a paddle
  4. Mix in the sugar, chocolate, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and Guinness.
  5. Pour the mixture into the spring form pan.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 60 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in the oven with the door slightly ajar for 60 minutes.
  8. Let it cool then ,
  9. Chill the cheesecake in the fridge overnight (at least 4 hours)

Serving suggestion:

  • Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake Dessert Shooters. Cut out narrow rounds of cheesecake the size of a dessert shot glass. Serve in small narrow glasses. This is sure to make you a St. Patrick’s Day party hero.

Bread Pudding with Bailey’s or Carolan’s Irish Cream Sauce


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Midtown Crossing
3253 Dodge Street
(ground floor of the Element
by Westin hotel building)
Omaha, NE 68131

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