A Reuben sandwich is a classic American sandwich typically made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, all grilled between slices of rye bread. It’s a popular choice at delis and diners, known for its combination of savory flavors and contrasting textures.
Russian dressing is a tangy and creamy condiment made from a combination of mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, and other flavorings. It provides a zesty kick to the sandwich.
To assemble a Reuben sandwich, you typically layer the ingredients as follows: rye bread, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut, more Russian dressing, and finally, the second slice of rye bread. The sandwich is then grilled until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.
Some people may use pastrami instead of corned beef, switch the cheese to provolone or cheddar, or use different types of bread. However, the combination of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing remains the core essence of a Reuben sandwich.
Ingredients for Reuben Sandwich:
- 8 slices of rye bread
- 1 pound (450g) corned beef, thinly sliced
- 8 slices of Swiss cheese
- 1 cup sauerkraut, drained
- 1/2 cup Russian dressing (store-bought or homemade)
- Butter or margarine, softened
Instructions for Reuben Sandwich:
- Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat.
- Lay out the slices of rye bread on a clean surface. Spread Russian dressing on one side of each slice.
- Divide the corned beef equally and place it on four of the bread slices, on top of the Russian dressing.
- Take the sauerkraut and squeeze out any excess moisture. Divide it equally and layer it on top of the corned beef.
- Place two slices of Swiss cheese on top of the sauerkraut for each sandwich.
- Take the remaining four bread slices with the Russian dressing and place them on top of the cheese to complete the sandwiches.
- Spread a thin layer of softened butter or margarine on the outsides of each sandwich.
- Carefully transfer the sandwiches to the preheated griddle or skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. You can use a spatula to press down on the sandwiches gently while cooking.
- Once the sandwiches are cooked, remove them from the heat and let them cool for a minute or two.
- Cut the Reuben sandwiches in half diagonally and serve warm.
Feel free to adjust the recipe to your taste preferences. You can add extra Russian dressing, adjust the amount of sauerkraut, or experiment with different cheeses if you’d like. Enjoy your homemade Reuben sandwich!
- Russian Dressing Variations:
- If you prefer a spicier kick, add some hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the Russian dressing.
- For a tangier flavor, mix in some pickle relish or finely chopped pickles.
- If you’re short on time, you can substitute Russian dressing with Thousand Island dressing, which has a similar flavor profile.
- Bread Variations:
- While rye bread is the classic choice, you can try variations such as marbled rye, pumpernickel, or sourdough bread for a different taste.
- Consider toasting the bread lightly before assembling the sandwich to add extra crunch and prevent it from getting soggy.
- Cheese Variations:
- While Swiss cheese is traditional, you can experiment with different cheeses like provolone, cheddar, or Gruyere for added flavor.
- Try combining different cheeses for a unique and delicious twist.
- Meat Variations:
- Although corned beef is the traditional choice, you can use pastrami, roast beef, or even turkey for a different protein option.
- Thinly sliced meat is preferred, as it makes the sandwich easier to eat.
- Sauerkraut Preparation:
- Rinse the sauerkraut before using it if you prefer a milder flavor.
- Sautéing the sauerkraut in a little butter or oil with some caraway seeds can enhance its taste.
- Vegetarian/Vegan Options:
- For vegetarian or vegan alternatives, you can replace the meat with plant-based alternatives like tempeh, seitan, or vegan deli slices.
- Use vegan cheese and mayo-based dressings to make it entirely plant-based.
- Use quality ingredients for the best flavor.
- Thinly slice the corned beef for easier eating.
- Drain and squeeze excess moisture from the sauerkraut.
- Butter the bread for a crispy and golden exterior.
- Grill the sandwich until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.
- Allow the sandwich to rest briefly before cutting.
- Adjust ingredient ratios to your liking.
- Serve your Reuben sandwich as a standalone meal. Cut it in half diagonally and place it on a plate. You can serve it with a side of coleslaw, pickles, or potato chips for a classic deli experience.
- Reuben Sandwiches pair well with soups. Serve your sandwich alongside a bowl of hearty tomato soup, clam chowder, or even a simple chicken noodle soup. The combination of flavors and textures will create a satisfying and comforting meal.
- Cut your sandwich into smaller, bite-sized pieces and secure them with toothpicks. This turns them into delicious finger foods, perfect for parties or gatherings. Arrange them on a platter and serve alongside other appetizers.
- Serve them alongside other brunch favorites like scrambled eggs, hash browns, fresh fruit, or a selection of pastries.
- Can I make the sandwich with turkey instead of corned beef?
Yes, you can substitute corned beef with other deli meats like turkey or pastrami to create a different variation of the sandwich. The combination of sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing can still be used for a delicious turkey Reuben or pastrami Reuben.
- How do I prevent the bread from getting soggy?
To prevent the bread from becoming overly soggy, make sure to drain and squeeze out excess moisture from the sauerkraut. You can also lightly toast the bread before assembling the sandwich to create a barrier that helps to keep the ingredients from soaking into the bread.
- Can I make Reuben sandwiches in advance?
Reuben sandwiches are best enjoyed immediately after they are prepared and grilled. However, if you need to make them in advance, you can assemble the sandwiches with all the ingredients except the Russian dressing. Wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to serve, add the Russian dressing and grill as usual.
- Can I freeze Reuben sandwiches?
It is not recommended to freeze assembled sandwiches, as freezing can affect the texture and quality of the ingredients. It’s best to enjoy them fresh or refrigerate them for a short period if needed.
- Can I make my own Russian dressing?
Absolutely! Making your own Russian dressing is simple. Combine mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, pickle relish, Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of hot sauce. Adjust the ingredients to your taste preferences and whisk them together until well combined.
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