MawMaw Smith’s Reuben Sandwiches
– Sauerkraut. You’re going to want normal sauerkraut if you can get it. For this particular recipe we actually accidentally used Bavarian sauerkraut, which is sweet. To get it back to sour, I just mixed some vinegar in to taste.
– Swiss cheese. The unhealthier, the better 🙂
– Thousand Island salad dressing. Some people prefer Russian, French or even Ranch. The purpose of the dressing is to be the sweet half of a sweet / sour combo – the sour part being the sauerkraut (which is why you want to avoid Bavarian styled ‘kraut, though with Ranch dressing you might actually consider using Bavarian ‘kraut…you can always sour it up later if need be).
– Corned Beef. For this recipe we used Boar’s Head corned beef, which was a bit on the light/sweet side. I’ve used Oscar Meyer Deli Select or Carl Budding before and they all work great.
While not entirely obvious, there are actually right and wrong ways to make this sandwich. Avoid eating the sandwich too long after it’s cooked – it will turn soggy relatively quickly and you’ll want to use a skillet or toaster oven to reheat.
Also, when cooking the sandwich, layer the corned beef on one side and the swiss on the other – this creates a bit of a ‘moisture barrier’ to help slow the absorption of the sauerkraut and dressing into the bread.
1) With a hot skillet, melt about 1 tsp butter to gently coat the bottom of the pan. I avoid applying butter directly to the bread because I get a better “crunch” if I let the bread soak up a bit from the pan.
2) While toasting the bread, slap on a piece of swiss on one side and layer the corned beef on the other. Sometimes it helps me to break the swiss into two triangles and overlap them if I need to, depending on how much the swiss and bread sizes are mismatched.
3) Once the bread is adequately crunchy, I usually put about 1 – 2 tbsp of sauerkraut into either side, then approximately 1 tbsp of dressing.
4) Cut in half (really, do this for any sandwich) and serve hot!
There you go – easy! Hot, delicious and extremely easy to make, they’re pretty much a hit to anyone I’ve cooked them for. In fact, in one extreme example, a coworker of mine ate five of these sandwiches back to back! Wowzers!