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  • Classic Reuben Sandwich
  • Classic Reuben Sandwich
  • Classic Reuben Sandwich
  • Classic Reuben Sandwich
  • Classic Reuben Sandwich
  • Classic Reuben Sandwich

Classic Reuben Sandwich

Food | January 09, 2018 | Nik Manojlovich
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Mounds of shaved corned beef, stacked with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese and served with Russian dressing – it’s no wonder the CLASSIC REUBEN SANDWICH is so beloved!

It seems like every great recipe comes with a great story, and the one behind the CLASSIC REUBEN SANDWICH is a beauty. Picture it – Omaha, Nebraska, sometime between 1920 and 1935. There’s a local hotel called the Blackstone, owned by a certain Charles Schimmel. Each week Schimmel would gather with a bunch of his friends to play poker, one of whom was Reuben Kulakofsky, a Jewish, Lithuanian-born grocer who first requested this sandwich for his poker buddies to enjoy.

Charles Schimmel and the other poker players loved Reuben’s sandwich! Schimmel ended up adding it to the lunch menu at the Blackstone. Almost a hundred years later, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak – the CLASSIC REUBEN SANDWICH is as famous today as it must have been back then.

Here’s what we did to recreate this fame-worthy sammy:

BREAD – A Reuben should be made using rye bread, and we think a dark rye works best. Rye bread has a rich flavour that not only compliments the other ingredients but also has a dense texture that delivers that essential crunch when buttered and grilled. A rye made with caraway is worth trying, as is a dark rye with its molasses or coffee notes. Here’s a LINK to one of our favourites.

CORNED BEEF – The corned beef used in this sandwich should be sliced thinly from a hot brisket right before you assemble the sandwiches. It’s also important that it’s not too wet or it will cause the bread to become soggy. Best to remove the brisket to a plate, allowing it to rest for a moment before taking it to a cutting board to slice.

SAUERKRAUT – Although sauerkraut is available at most grocery stores, we suggest you look for a product made with cabbage and salt. The sauerkraut should not contain vinegar or sugar and ideally should be a fermented organic product. Look for it in the refrigerated section of your favourite organic grocers or health food store. This will all make sense at your first taste of this sandwich.

SWISS CHEESE – The use of Swiss cheese in this recipe is brilliant because of its distinct, almost grassy flavour, and also the way it melts so nicely into the corned beef and sauerkraut.

RUSSIAN DRESSING – A traditional Reuben is made using Russian dressing, but think of the term in its true sense of meaning – something to dress this sandwich, and in this case, it’s like a smorgasbord of every condiment ever made. Don’t forget to bookmark THIS video on how to make this wonderful treat that works with other sandwiches, burgers and wraps.

GRILLING – A CLASSIC REUBEN SANDWICH must be grilled in order to warm the centre, melt the cheese and crisp up the outside. We think it’s all about the first bite, so get yourself organized to whisk it off the griddle or out of the skillet, slice it in half and serve it straight away.

Of course, every great sandwich can always use a great side, and for this we suggest NIK’S CAESAR SALAD or our CREAMY COLESLAW.

Thank you, Mr. Kulakofsky! Your CLASSIC REUBEN SANDWICH is some mighty fine, good eats!

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Ingredients & Amounts

  • For the Russian dressing:
  • ¼ cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon of relish
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of prepared horseradish
  • For the sandwiches:
  • 4 slices of rye bread
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
  • ½ pound of corned beef, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of sauerkraut
  • 6 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of Russian dressing
  • gherkins or pickles for garnish

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Russian dressing: Place all the ingredients into a small bowl and stir together. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the sandwiches: Preheat griddle or large skillet to medium-high heat. Butter one side of each piece of bread. Invert two slices and spread 1 tablespoon of Russian dressing onto each. Divide the sliced corned beef and stack it onto the bread. Do the same with the sauerkraut. Add three slices of Swiss cheese on top of each, then top it with the two slices of bread, buttered sides up. Transfer sandwiches to griddle or skillet and cook until bread is toasted to a rich golden colour. If using a skillet, turn sandwich over to toast the other side.
  3. When sandwiches are toasted, transfer to a cutting surface and divide into halves, thirds or quarters and serve with gherkins, pickles or a favourite salad. Serve immediately with remaining Russian dressing served on the side.

The following items helped us create this post and video.

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Nik Manojlovich

Nik is the creator, host and brains behind Weekend at the Cottage. He loves sharing his wisdom and experience about the things that interest him most.

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