A real Reuben sandwich is made with thin slices of crusty rye bread infused with caraway seeds that hold piles of thinly sliced rich corned beef, layers of melted Swiss cheese, creamy Thousand Island dressing, and mounds of mouthwatering sauerkraut. This is the type of Reuben sandwich typically found in delis and sandwich shops all across the country and beyond. However, it is not necessary to travel to New York City or Chicago to enjoy a real Reuben sandwich topped with the finest ingredients. It is possible to make a real Reuben sandwich at home, and the following easy recipe will help you create a tasty meal that will give the finest city restaurants and delis a run for their money.
Necessary Ingredients for a Real Reuben Sandwich
To make a real Reuben sandwich you will need top-quality rye bread, preferably fresh from a bakery. You will also need thinly sliced fresh corned beef complete with all of the spices. Canned corned beef is convenient, but it is never used to make a real Reuben sandwich. It is high in fat, mushy in consistency, and nothing like real seasoned corned beef points and flats sold in the fresh meat case. Also required are fresh sauerkraut, genuine butter, Swiss cheese slices, and top-quality Thousand Island dressing.
Procedure for Making a Real Reuben Sandwich
Begin by cooking a corned beef point or flat along with the included spice packet according to product label instructions. Consider using a crock pot. The meat will be moist and extraordinarily flavorful when slow-cooked. Allow the meat to partially cool on a cutting board for about ten minutes before slicing. Once the meat has sat undisturbed for several minutes, slice it very thin, and remove any visible sections of fat.
Next, butter two pieces of fresh rye bread on both sides, and grill it in a hot skillet until it is golden brown. Browning both sides of the rye bread will create a seal that will help keep the bread from becoming soggy once the sandwich is assembled.
While the grilled bread is still warm, add a slice of Swiss cheese to each piece. Pile the sliced corned beef on one piece of bread. Top it with a generous amount of Thousand Island dressing. Top the corned beef and dressing with a heaping mound of drained sauerkraut. Place the second piece of bread with cheese over the sauerkraut to complete this real Reuben sandwich. Cut the real Reuben sandwich diagonally before serving alongside a crunchy home-style dill pickle wedge.
Alternate Toppings for a Real Reuben Sandwich
A real Reuben sandwich is topped with sauerkraut and rich Thousand Island dressing, but to save calories and fat, reduced calorie dressing can be substituted. If Thousand Island dressing is not your preference, opt for one tablespoon of chili sauce mixed with one-third cup of mayo. This tasty condiment mixture is enough to make six real Reuben sandwiches.
Those that do not like sauerkraut on a real Reuben sandwich can use creamy coleslaw instead. Pile on the coleslaw instead of heaping on a mound of sauerkraut. The Reuben sandwich will have a little less zip, but it will taste just as delicious and every bit as delectable as a real Reuben sandwich. Once you make a real Reuben sandwich at home, chances are you will never buy a real Reuben sandwich from an overpriced restaurant again.