Reuben crispbread canapés by Paul Welburn

Michelin-starred chef Paul Welburn was inspired by a ‘reuben’ sandwich when creating these delicious canapés, using our Original sourdough crispbreads. He layers up homemade salt beef, sweet pickles, a hot mustard emulsion and tops them with an unctuous cheese sauce. They are well worth the time and effort you put in but you can use a good quality shop-bought salt beef if you don’t fancy making your own. Any leftover salt beef can of course be made into sandwiches.

Makes 50 canapés

Cooking time: 60 minutes, plus 48 hours brining time and 5 hours braising time

For brining the salt beef: 

  • 1kg beef brisket
  • 170g of coarse sea salt
  • 50g of Demerara sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp pickling spice
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2l water

For cooking the salt beef: 

  • 70g of muscovado sugar
  • 4 sprigs of thyme

For the mustard mayonnaise: 

  • 40g of English mustard powder
  • 300g of mayonnaise
  • salt, to taste 

For the Lincolnshire Poacher sauce: 

  • 250g of milk
  • 25g of butter
  • 90g of egg yolk
  • 175g of Lincolnshire poacher cheese, finely grated
  • 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco, to taste

 To serve: 


  1. The brisket needs brining for 48 hours and then slow-cooking for 4–5 hours, so ensure you leave yourself enough time. Begin by making the brine. Place the salt, sugar and spices into a pan with 500ml of water and bring to the boil. Stir to ensure the salt and sugar has dissolved then remove from the heat and pour in the remaining 1.5l cold water.
  2. Ensure the brine has completely cooled before submerging the brisket in it. The beef should be fully submerged. Leave to brine in the fridge for 48 hours.
  3. After 48 hours, preheat an oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Lift the beef out of the brine and rinse under cold water. Place in an ovenproof pan with the sugar and thyme, cover with water and place a lid on the pan. Slowly braise in the oven for 4–5 hours or until nice and tender. You can either do this in advance, keeping the cooked beef in the fridge until ready to serve, or get on with the rest of the recipe if planning to serve the canapés on the same day.
  4. Once the beef is tender, remove from the cooking liquor and cool before very finely slicing (use a meat slicer if you have one). Dress in a little olive oil and flaky sea salt just before serving.
  5. To make the mustard mayonnaise, simply whisk the mustard powder into the mayonnaise. Taste and season with salt if needed. Transfer to a piping bag.
  6. Finally, make the Lincolnshire poacher sauce. Heat the milk and butter in a pan whilst you whisk the egg yolk until thick and pale. Pour the heated milk over the yolks and whisk, then return to the pan and gently heat whilst constantly stirring until it coats the back of the spoon.
  7. Bit by bit add the grated cheese and stir until melted. Pass through a fine sieve if needed and add the Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Taste and season. Keep the sauce warm but on a very gentle heat to prevent it from splitting.
  8. To assemble the canapés, lay the sliced beef on top of the crispbreads in waves along with some gherkin slices. Pipe on a few dots of mustard mayonnaise and then drizzle over a little of the warm cheese sauce on top. Finish with a sprinkle of grated cheese, a pinch of smoked paprika and a sprig of dill.


Recipe courtesy of Great British Chefs.



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