The classic grilled Reuben Sandwich, complete with homemade Russian Dressing, is the perfect way to use up leftover corned beef.
Reubens: Made For Leftover Corned Beef!
The week after St. Patrick’s Day, we always find ourselves with leftover corned beef.
We never complain though, because that means it’s an excuse to make reubens; which might be one of our all-time favorite sandwiches.
What Is A Reuben?
You know The Reuben: a grilled sandwich made up of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing on rye bread.
Some say the sandwich was the creation of a Lithuanian grocer in Omaha, Nebraska, who came up with the sandwich for poker night at a local hotel. The sandwich then grew to local fame when it was put on the hotel restaurant’s lunch menu.
Another account maintains that the sandwich was created by the German owner of Reuben’s Delicatessen in New York City, who threw the sandwich together one evening for a famished actress.
Russian Dressing or Thousand Island Dressing?
Russian Dressing and Thousand Island Dressing tend to be used interchangeably nowadays, so many restaurants just serve their reuben sandwiches with Thousand Island Dressing. But, Russian Dressing was the staple that made the sandwich famous.
Making Homemade Russian Dressing
Thousand Island Dressing and Russian Dressing are incredibly similar. The main difference is that Thousand Island Dressing includes bits of relish, pickles, onions, and hard boiled eggs. Thousand Island Dressing is therefore sweeter and a bit tangier.
Russian Dressing, on the other hand, gets a distinct spice from horseradish and garlic.
Another difference is that, typically, Thousand Island Dressing is made with a mayonnaise base, while Russian Dressing is made with a plain yogurt or sour cream base.
The dressing you choose is up to you, but even if you don’t have either on hand, it’s really easy to whip up a batch of homemade Russian Dressing with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!
How To Cook That Tower?
Before we get to the dressing recipe, we need to address the biggest issue that we always run into when making a Reuben Sandwich.
It just gets SO tall!!
There are two methods we like to use to remedy the situation and cook our Reuben Sandwiches to perfection. One way is to, toast up the sandwich under the broiler, one or two layers at a time, so that each layer reaches crispy, warm, melty perfection. (This is the method in the recipe below.)
But, we have been know to also make our Reuben Sandwiches on the griddle. Or… on a makeshift griddle.
Since we don’t have a panini press (which would be ideal) we make our own press with two cast iron skillets.
Hey. We like to improvise!
Broiled or grilled, a reuben is a simple sandwich to make, and it is made even better when you serve it with your own, homemade Russian Dressing!
The classic grilled Reuben Sandwich is the perfect way to use up leftover corned beef.
Yield: 4 sandwiches
- Preheat your oven’s broiler to low, and move your oven rack to the highest position.
- Place four slices of bread on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet. Distribute corned beef slices evenly among the four slices of bread. Place in the oven and broil 3-4 minutes, until meat is warm.
- Remove from oven and top each sandwich with sauerkraut and a slice of Swiss cheese. Return to oven and broil 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven. Spread one side of the remaining slices of bread with a tablespoon of Russian Dressing. Top each sandwich with a slice of bread, dressing side down. Return to the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes, until the top bread is toasted.
- Serve warm with additional sauce for dipping.
Russian Dressing: it's tangy, slightly spicy, and all-around addicting!
Yield: 1/2 c of dressing
- 1/4 c plain yogurt or sour cream
- 3 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp fresh grated horseradish or prepared horseradish
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- Mix all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Dressing can be used immediately, but the flavor will improve if refrigerated for at least 10 minutes before using.
- Store the dressing in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 week.