I just had one of my delicious modified Reubens, so I thought I would share my “recipe.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who dislikes corned beef and Swiss cheese! Before we start, I need to look up why Reubens are called Reubens because now I’m curious.
Okay, so it’s supposedly the name of the guy. Etymology isn’t a science, unfortunately, so there are a few origin stories. I used to listen to the Turn of Phrases podcast, which is super interesting! But I’m getting off topic. Back to Reubens!
Not using corned beef is more of a money saver than actual dislike, I guess. It’s gross (to me) by itself, but not bad on a sandwich. However, it’s more expensive than dried beef, so I get dried beef. Without further ado—
- Rye or marbled rye bread, seeded or seedless
- Dried beef or corned beef
- Sliced provolone or mozzarella cheese
- Thousand Island dressing
What You Do
Heat the griddle, skillet, panini press, whatever. Strain a few tablespoons of the sauerkraut as much as possible. Use a paper towel to dry it further if you want. The wetter the sauerkraut is, the sloppier your sandwich will be and we don’t want that.
Add a couple tablespoons of Thousand Island dressing to the kraut and mix it up. This is a preference, too. Just use as much kraut and dressing as you want and refrigerate the leftovers. You should have a light orange mess in front of you. If your kraut was in the fridge, you may want to nuke it for 15 to 30 seconds so it’s warm by the time your bread is toasty. Set this aside.
Grab your bread! I get Pepperidge Farms seedless rye, but it’s dealer’s choice. Butter the outsides of the bread like you do for grilled cheese sandwiches. All of your ingredients should be ready to go so your bottom slice of bread doesn’t burn before you get the sandwich constructed. The faster you throw your sandwich together, the better.
Place one slice of your bread butter-down on the skillet or press. Add one or two slices of cheese (I love melted cheese, so I use two). On top of that, place four or five slices of dried beef or corned beef. Dried beef is salty, so proceed with caution.
On top of the beef, fork your sauerkraut mix on the meat. Add one or two more slices of cheese. Yeah, I use a lot of cheese! Add the second piece of bread butter side up.
By this time, your bottom bread should be nice and toasty and the cheese melty. Flip your sandwich or close the press and let it fry for a few more minutes. Use your judgment, but around three minutes sounds about right. When the cheese is melted and the bread is toasty, carefully place your sandwich on a plate.
If you want to Dagwood it, add more meat and cheese and kraut mix, or even more bread! A super simple recipe (if you can flip the sandwich without making a mess) that’s super delicious!