The Cloak and Dagger Sandwich

1 lb sliced corned beef (preferably hot/warm)
8 slices seeded rye or pumpernickel bread (or rye and pumpernickel swirl)


1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 carrot, shredded
1/2 small onion, shredded
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
white pepper

Russian dressing:

3 tablespoons minced dill pickle
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
white pepper


Stir together the dressing ingredients. Set aside. To make the coleslaw: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, mustard, vinegar, and spices. In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, onion, and carrot. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, toss to evenly distribute.

Spread the dressing on all 8 slices of bread.

Top 4 slices with a layer of corned beef then coleslaw. Top with the remaining slices of bread. Slice and serve.

My thoughts:

The Cloak and Dagger is a lesser known Baltimore dish. Attman’s, the last remaining original deli on Corned Beef Row, claims to have invented it and it still is available on their menu as ‘The “Original” Cloak & Dagger’. It now shows up on a number of local delis and restaurant menus around the area. Not to be confused with the vaguely similar (and attractively named) “Rachel” sandwich, it is simply a corned beef sandwich topped not with mustard but with Russian dressing and coleslaw. I take it to the next level by making everything (but the bread!) from scratch. This time of year you might have some corned beef leftover from St Patrick’s Day to use and if you, it should be on sale cheaply to pick some up. Of course, you can make your own if you are feeling ambitious and have time to wait. It a messy sandwich but so worth it! The contrast between the warm, salty corned beef and the cool, creamy coleslaw is sublime.

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