The Reuben is such a classic American sandwich that two people claim to have invented it: Reuben Kulakofsky of Omaha, NE, who enjoyed the sandwich at a weekly poker game, and New York deli owner Arthur Reuben, who said he first made the sandwich around 1914.
Who first grilled up that savory stack of rye bread, corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing, we'll probably never know. But that won't stop me from enjoying an endless parade of Reuben recipes, from pastrami to tempeh. Of course, it's hard to beat a good, old-fashioned corned beef Reuben, grilled on rye bread that's buttered to perfection. So try this classic recipe.
2 slices rye bread
2 teaspoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons Russian Dressing
1/4 cup well-drained, fresh-style sauerkraut
2 ounces thinly sliced Gruyère or Switzerland Swiss cheese
1/4 pound thinly sliced corned beef
- Butter each slice of bread evenly to the edges on one side. Place one slice, buttered side down, in a small cold skillet: Build the sandwich in the skillet you'll grill it in.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of the Russian dressing on the face-up, dry side of the bread. Then put on the sauerkraut, spreading it evenly.
- Arrange the cheese in an even layer over the sauerkraut, then do the same with the corned beef.
- Spread another 1 tablespoon Russian dressing on the dry side of the second slice of bread and place it, dressing side down, buttered side up, over the corned beef.
- Place the skillet over medium-low heat and grill the sandwich slowly, pressing down on it a few times with a wide metal spatula. Grill until the bread is browned and crisped, then turn the sandwich over with the help of the spatula.
- Now weigh the sandwich down by placing a plate (or another small skillet) over the sandwich, then adding on a weight, such as a 28-ounce can of tomatoes. Grill until the second side has browned and crisped, then flip the sandwich over one more time to briefly reheat the other side. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 sandwich.
- Sandwiches, Main Dishes
- North American