Who is Reuben Anyway??

Sitting here with my tummy very full, I was thinking it’s funny that most people associate the Reuben sandwich with St. Patrick’s Day.  I suppose it’s because of the main ingredient – corned beef.  However, the Reuben actually originated in the United States as a deli sandwich, and though the inventor of this delectable concoction is debatable, he was most probably German…not Irish.  At our house, we typically enjoy corned beef, cabbage and potatoes on day one, and then Reubens and homemade potato chips with the leftovers.  This weekend’s busy schedule had us going straight to the Reuben sandwiches today. 

Here’s how I make my melt in your mouth Reubens: Prepare the corned beef.  It should be amazingly tender when it’s ready.  Have you ever eaten a Reuben sandwich at a restaurant and when you take your first bite, the entire piece of corned beef pulls out because it’s too tough to bite through?? That won’t happen here!  

As for the rest of the ingredients, there are many variations, but my Reuben contains corned beef, Gruyere cheese (regular Swiss can be used, but I like the nuttiness of the Gruyere and how it melts), dressing (I make my own with mayonnaise, ketchup, spicy sweet pickle relish and course ground pepper), and sauerkraut.  I prefer to use marble rye bread and grill the sandwich.

Heat a non-stick skillet, or my favorite, a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  I love the flavor of real butter and olive oil, so I butter the bread on one side and also drizzle a little olive oil in the skillet just before I toast the sandwich. Build the sandwich.  I suggest bread, cheese, dressing, sauerkraut, corned beef, more cheese and bread.  Having the cheese on both sides helps to “glue” the sandwich together and having the moist ingredients in the middle keeps the bread from being soggy.

Toast until a deep golden brown on each side and the cheese melts.  Let sit for a minute or two before cutting in half for easier handling (I say that, but it will still be simply so tender and ooey gooey that it will be a wonderfully messy eat!)  Serve with chips and enjoy!! Now I can’t wait until leftovers tomorrow! 

  1. Never tried olive oil AND butter when toasting, but I will next time! I bet it’s delish!

  2. the olive oil allows the butter to cook longer at a higher temperature without burning quickly…makes the bread perfectly toasty! i use both olive oil and butter often when cooking…great flavor and you can reduce the amount of butter you are using…try sauteing that way too!

  3. A good Reuben is one of my faves. I like the suggestion of using Gruyere. We go the easy route w/out butter or olive oil by using the panini press. (This is a great blog, Carrie!)

  4. Thanks Celeste! A panini press is a great option for sandwiches. Your route is more healthful too, but I love the flavor of real butter and olive oil, so I’ll just have to do a few extra squats…or at least think about doing them!

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