The Sacramento Bee published a recipe for a Reuben Sandwich which sounded so good we just had to make it.
What Is a Reuben Sandwich?
"What is a Reuben sandwich?" you might ask. Corned beef, dark rye bread, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, with Russian dressing - grilled.
According to Wikipedia, our national love affair with Reuben sandwiches has been going on since the 1920s, though the origin is disputed.
What Ingredients Do I Need to Make a Reuben?
To make a classic Reuben sandwich, you'll need the following:
- Corned beef
- Swiss cheese
- Rye bread (or another thick bread, see below)
- Russian dressing (we include instructions to make your own) or Thousand Island dressing
Do I Have to Use Rye for this Reuben Sandwich Recipe?
Although the traditional Reuben is made with rye bread, you can substitute other breads, like caraway, pumpernickel, sourdough, or even wheat or white, as long as the bread is hearty and thick enough to stand up to the dressing and the pan grilling.
How to Make Homemade Russian Dressing
Russian dressing is so easy to make. Just combine mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and a bit of pepper to taste. No chopping necessary!
How to Store Leftover Dressing
If you have any Russian dressing leftover, just pour it in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate up to a week.
Is a Reuben Sandwich Served Hot or Cold?
Reuben sandwiches are traditionally served hot. The combination of butter-toasted bread and melted Swiss cheese is what makes a Reuben so appealing to many. But if that's not your thing, you can skip it. It's your sandwich, after all.
Make-Ahead Reuben Sandwiches
You can assemble a batch of Reubens in advance to bake for parties or a handy dinner. They won't be quite as good as ones made on the spot, but people will still gobble them up. Butter and toast the bread in a skillet first. Assemble the sandwiches open-faced (layer as the recipe directs to prevent soggy sandwiches) on sheet pans and refrigerate up to 8 hours. To serve, bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven just until the cheese melts, 10 to 15 minutes. Sandwich the hot, loaded slices and you're ready!
Reuben vs. Rachel Sandwiches
A Reuben is made with corned beef and sauerkraut. A Rachel sandwich is made with pastrami and coleslaw. Both are made with Swiss cheese on rye bread. Both are butter-grilled on a griddle. And both are pretty delicious!
Fill That Plate! What to Serve with Reuben Sandwiches
- Russian Dressing:
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1-1/2 tablespoon ketchup
- 1-1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- (This makes 1/2 cup of dressing)
- Sandwich ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 8 slices rye bread
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- 3/4 pound corned beef brisket, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound sauerkraut
- 1/4 cup Russian Dressing (see above)
Make Russian dressing.
In a small jar, add the mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Shake to combine. Set aside.
Note: This makes one-half cup of dressing. So, reserve half. Cap the jar and refrigerate for a later use.
Butter bread and assemble sandwiches.
Butter one side of four slices of bread, and place buttered-side down on a large piece of wax paper on a flat surface. Top each with a slice of Swiss cheese, and then divide half of the corned beef among them.
Add sauerkraut and finish assembling sandwiches.
Using paper towels, squeeze out excess moisture from the sauerkraut. Divide the sauerkraut among the sandwiches, and top each with one tablespoon of Russian dressing. Add another layer of corned beef and a second slice of Swiss cheese to each sandwich. Top with the remaining bread slices. Butter the the top of the sandwich
Pan-grill the sandwiches, melting the cheese.
Preheat a griddle or frying pan to medium heat. Cook the sandwiches on one side until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Use a spatula to carefully flip the sandwiches over and finish cooking on the second side, about 3 minutes on each side.
Cut the sandwiches in half before serving. Serve immediately with coleslaw. or whatever side dish you wish.