I’ve been food blogging for nearly seven years now. During that time I’ve had many a Reuben sandwich around town. Some of which I’ve pictured below.
They all have sauerkraut, but the similarity ends there. Cheeses and sauces vary. There’s sliced corned beef, pastrami or turkey to select from, even a veggie version.
The Perfect Reuben—for Me
But it’s the bread that determines my choice. Like Jerry Seinfeld, I want marble rye—though, unlike Jerry, I wouldn’t mug an old lady to get one.
My designer Reuben would come on grilled, marble rye with equal parts kraut and corned beef along with a kosher dill pickle and a hefty glob of German potato salad. Maybe a bowl of Matzo ball soup. A nice foam-topped beer wouldn’t hurt.
My Mission Continues
I’ve not yet had the Reuben sandwich at Mom’s Deli on Jamieson (though I’ve had their other tasty sandwiches), or Union Loafers on Tower Grove, or Seamus McDaniel’s on Tamm. Happily, I have no problem continuing the search.
Make Your Own Reuben
- 1/2 lb. corned beef
- ½ tsp olive oil
- 6 slices rye bread (or marble rye)
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter room temp
- 1/2 cup sauerkraut drained
- 6 slices Swiss cheese
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 1/2 Tbs. chili garlic sauce
- 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp creamy horseradish
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 Tbs. onion finely grated
- ⅛ tsp. paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the Russian Dressing, set aside.
- In a skillet, over medium heat, add oil. Once hot, add the meat and cook just until heated.
- Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread. Place the bread (butter side down) on a plate.
- Add the toppings to each sandwich. Spread the dressing, top with meat, cheese and sauerkraut. Close bread slices to create a sandwich.
- In a hot skillet, cook sandwiches over medium heat 4-6 minutes, flipping once. Cook until cheese melts and the bread is crispy. Makes 3 sandwiches. (Recipe adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen)
Who Created This Masterpiece?
Some claim the Reuben was invented in Omaha at a 1920s card game at the Blackstone Hotel. The hefty sandwich (corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing on rye) started appearing on the hotel menu in the early 30s.
It’s fame spread when a former employee won a national sandwich contest with the recipe. Omaha celebrates March 14 as Reuben Sandwich Day.
Even so, New Yorkers give credit to the German-Jewish owner of Reuben’s Deli. We may never know the truth. But that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the iconic sammy.