Classic Reuben Sandwich
- Difficulty: Very easy
- Prep time: 20 min
- Cook time: 4 min
- Serving: 4 people
- Cost: Average
The classic Reuben sandwich is compound of three basic staples: sauerkraut, corned beef and Swiss cheese. Its origins are as dubious as they can be: Omaha Nebraska? Maybe. Reuben Delicatessen in New York City? Probably yes. In the early 1900s a Reuben Special appeared on its menu as the brainchild of an industrious late shift chef working out of bare cupboards. Whatever the inspiration might have been, we still reap the benefits 100 years later.
Traditionally rye bread is used, but we would not turn it down if made on a good potato bread or whole wheat.
Do not forget the pink, Russian sauce! You might know it by the name of 1000 Islands, and is also used as a salad dressing.
As for the corned beef, you don't have to wait until St. Patrick day to make a sandwich with leftovers (even though it's THE thing to do on March 18th) if you cannot resist a meat packed handheld.
Serve this classic Reuben sandwich at your next Superbowl party, or a card game. A classic Reuben never met anyone who didn't like it.
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- For the sandwich
- Rye bread 8 slices - Or any loaf bread of choice
- Corned beef 1 lb (500 g) - thinly sliced (#2 on a slicer)
- Swiss Cheese 12 oz
- Sauerkraut 6 oz (180 g) - drained well
- Mayonnaise - as needed to butter the bread
- For the 1000 Island sauce (Russian dressing)
- Mayonnaise ½ cup (100 g) - Good quality
- Ketchup 4 tbsp (50 g)
- Dijon mustard 1 tbsp (15 g)
- Honey 2 tbsp (30 g)
- Worchestershire sauce 1 tsp (5 g)
- Lemon juice 1 - fresh
- Onion powder 1 tbsp (6 g)
- Paprika to taste
- Fine salt to taste
How to prepare the 1000 Island sauce (or Russian dressing)
In a mixing bowl, add all the sauce ingredients and mix well with a whisk.
Taste for salt or more lemon if desired. Add paprika to taste as it tends to make the sauce too tasty.
Refrigerate the sauce until service.
How to assemble the sandwich
Spread the outer sides of the 8 slices of bread with a generous amount of mayonnaise.
If you have a large griddle is preferable, so you can make all 4 sandwiches at once. If not prepare 2 at a time.
Heat a non-stick skillet and place 4 slices of bread (mayo side down). Top 2 slices with 2 slices of Swiss cheese each.
Cover the skillet with a lid and toast the bread while the cheese melts.
Once the cheese has melted, cover each half (the one with cheese) with 1/4 of the meat and sauerkraut.
Generously spread the other slice of bread (untoasted side) with 1000 Island sauce.
Sandwich the two breads together and press lightly.
Repeat with remaining bread and ingredients.
Serve at once.
How to store
The 1000 Island sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Store in the fridge. Any leftovers are great to dip the French fries, to smear over a steak or steamed fish and vegetables.
If prepared way too early, the sandwich could become soggy due to the moisture contained in the beef, sauerkraut and sauce. Assemble the sandwich to order for best results.
Drain the sauerkraut ahead of time, without squeezing the juices too much.
Choose a good quality corned beef, as the inferior quality tend to be packed with more sodium and water.
For those of you who are not pickles fans, don't worry. Serve the classic Reuben with Potato chips.
Finally, many use butter to toast the bread. Mayonnaise is a far superior product because makes a nice brown crust, keeps it moist and imparts more flavor. Use Mayo on your next grilled cheese sandwich. You will taste the difference!