Now that we've all had our fill of St. Patrick's Day corned beef, there's the question of what to do with leftovers. If there are any. The sum total of all of our leftovers are right up there in that reuben, and had I known that leftovers could taste this good, I would have cooked twice as much corned beef. Maybe more. Because a corned beef reuben on rye with sauerkraut, swiss cheese and Russian dressing is what life is all about.
The Reuben has absolutely nothing to do with St. Patrick's Day but was invented right here in Omaha by the chef of the Blackstone Hotel in the 1930's. It is a much-beloved and iconic sandwich in these parts. And for good reason. It's simply delicious and my favorite sandwich ever.
So let's just get right to it. Up there in that photo are your necessary ingredients. There are lots of different kinds of rye bread out there, so choose your favorite. But just to be clear.... there is no reuben without rye. On the other hand, if you don't happen to have any leftover corned beef, pastrami, which is cured very similarly to corned beef, is a very, very acceptable substitute. You'll also need a few slices of swiss cheese, some sauerkraut and some homemade Russian dressing to get things set up to make a delicious, if not legendary sandwich.
And to make it, we're firstly going to spread some softened butter on one side of each piece of rye bread. Then we're not going to do what I did in those photos up there. I would much prefer you to place the cheese slices on the bread before you slather them with the Russian dressing. This prevents the bread from getting soggy from the dressing. I really don't know what I was thinking, but more than likely my judgement was clouded by the impending joy of having this reuben sandwich for lunch. My apologies.
At any rate, you're then going to top one of the halves with your corned beef and then some sauerkraut,
and then place the meatless slice on top and then put it on a hot griddle or skillet. When the first side is grilled to golden brown perfection, flip it over and turn down the heat. I like to dome the sandwich with a metal bowl which encourages the cheese to get super melty and delicious. It also hides the sandwich from potential interlopers.
Then remove it to a plate, slice it in half and serve it with a cold one and maybe a big pile of fries.
That's how we roll with corned beef leftovers around here. And just in case you're into it, here's the recipe...
For each sandwich you will need...
2 slices of rye bread
Several slices of corned beef
2 -6 slices of swiss cheese, depending on the thickness of each slice
Russian dressing (see recipe below)
To assemble your sandwiches, spread one side of each piece of rye bread with softened butter. Flip them over and top with the swiss cheese slices. Spread both pieces with a good amount of Russian dressing.
Place the corned beef on one piece of bread and top that with some sauerkraut. Place the meatless slice of bread on top of the sauerkraut.
Place the sandwich on a well-heated cast iron griddle or nonstick skillet. When the first side is golden brown, flip the sandwich, reduce the heat a bit and place a metal bowl over the sandwich. This will create a heated dome which will trap heat and help the cheese to melt more quickly.
When the bottom half is browned nicely and the cheese has melted, remove the sandwich from the pan, slice in half and serve while still warm.
Simple Russian Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup catsup
3 tablespoons sweet pick relish
Combine the mayonnaise, catsup and relish. This is also great on burgers and patty melts.