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The Reuben Sandwich: The Best Sandwich Ever!

So, St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone – did you enjoy your corned beef? With luck, you’ve got leftovers!

Enter the Reuben. Corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, mustard, and Russian dressing grilled on sourdough rye bread. Doesn’t that just make you drool thinking about it? It takes me back to late nights with friends lingering over philosophical conversations at the Irish pub in my hometown – soul food as well as delicious noshing!

Nearly every ingredient in this sandwich is cultured or fermented and teeming with good-for-you bacteria. Oh, my goodness! No wonder this sandwich feels good for the soul as well as the body.

How to Make a Reuben Sandwich

Sourdough rye bread, sliced
Thousand Island dressing
Dijon or honey mustard
Corned beef, thinly sliced
Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
Sauerkraut, drained and squeezed dry

Slather two slices of sourdough rye bread with mustard and Thousand Island dressing. Lay on corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese.

Grill the Reuben as you would a grilled cheese sandwich, either in a panini grill, on a stovetop griddle, or in the oven.

Enjoy thoroughly.

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
generous pinch of salt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbls. lemon juice
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (may substitute with other unrefined cold-pressed oils)

1/4 cup ketchup
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 T. prepared horseradish
generous dash Worcestershire sauce
1 T. unrefined cane sugar
1 T. minced parsley
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp. chopped pickles (dill or salt-  your choice)
1 T. minced onion.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the eggs, mustard, lemon juice, and salt. Keep the blades running to combine thoroughly.

Pour in the oil extremely slowly. Start with mere drops, then work up to pouring it in in a thin stream.You’ll notice when the oil is fully emulsified, as the sound will change.

When the mayonnaise is finished, add in all remaining ingredients. Pulse several times to combine thoroughly.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Variation: Sourdough Reuben Buns (great for a picnic!)

makes approximately 12 buns

For a variation on a theme, make the Reuben into an enclosed meat pastry instead of a grilled sandwich. This is a great option for lunch boxes, picnics, hikes, and road trips.

To make a meat bun, prepare your sourdough rye bread dough, this time adding just a bit of rye flour so that the dough is less sticky (it should still be quite soft).

After the dough has rested and instead of putting it into loaf pans, divide each loaf into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a circle approximately 1/4″ thick and about 6″ in diameter.

In the middle of the circle, place 1 slice of Swiss cheese, a dollop of Thousand Island dressing, a small dollop of Dijon or honey mustard, 2-3 tablespoons of sauerkraut (squeezed as dry as possible), and 2-3 thin slices of corned beef.

Brush the edges of the dough with an egg wash, then bring the sides up all around the bun, about 6 times. (Picture it: if you brought the sides up four times, you’d have a square package. By doing it about six times, we end up slightly closer to a circle.) Be sure that the dough completely overlaps the filling, or you’ll leak all over your baking pan during baking.

Place each bun seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until slightly puffed, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, until golden.

This post has been shared at Fat Tuesday (Real Food Forager) and Fight Back Friday (Food Renegade).
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