The Reuben Sandwich |

The Reuben Sandwich

The Reuben is a classic deli sandwich that will fill you up with gooey goodness and diverse flavors. The origination of the sandwich has many stories. My favorite is when a stage actress came into the New York restaurant Reuben’s in 1914 and declared she was so hungry she could eat a brick. She asked the chef to make her a sandwich. He took a huge loaf of bread, cut it in half and filled it with delicious meats, imported Swiss cheese, cabbage and a juicy dressing.

The petite actress declared she loved the sandwich, ate the whole thing and brought back other stage performers the following night. A newspaper person was enjoying the sandwich with her and tried to influence the name of it by telling the chef he should name sandwiches after the actors and actress. The chef, Arnold Reuben, said, “No way, I’ll name it the Reuben.”

A traditional Reuben now is made with rye bread, corned beef or pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and thousand-island dressing. Corned beef is a cut of brisket that is brined for at least 10 days and then cooked. The brine is made with a lot of brining salt (considered the corn) and spices. You can purchase it for your slow cooker already brined and ready to cook, or you can buy it sliced at the deli.

Sauerkraut is cabbage that is fermented with salt, so this sandwich is really a salty one. It does have some health benefits because sauerkraut delivers fiber, iron and vitamins C and K. Pair it with a healthy salad and call it an actress’ lunch.

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Reuben sandwiches

8 slices rye bread

1 pound corned beef, sliced

8 slices Swiss cheese

14 ounces sauerkraut

1/3 cup thousand-island dressing

2 tablespoons butter

Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-low heat, and butter both sides of the bread lightly. Grill bread on each side until lightly crisp. Place a piece of Swiss cheese on each bread piece and allow to start melting.

Drain the sauerkraut and place it in a frying pan to warm and steam off any excess water.

Once sauerkraut is warm, mix in thousand-island dressing, stir, and allow to warm.

Meanwhile, fold four pieces of corned beef into even squares that will cover the bread. Repeat three more times to make filling for four sandwiches. Remove bread from griddle and set aside.

Place the squares of corned beef on the griddle to warm, flipping after 1 minute.

Once warmed, build the sandwiches by placing 2 tablespoons sauerkraut on the melted Swiss cheese. Spread evenly. Add the warmed corned beef and then cover with another Swiss cheese melted bread slice. Slice the sandwich, and repeat with remaining three sandwiches. Keep the sandwich warm until ready to eat.

Makes four sandwiches.

Tracy Miller is a personal chef and caterer that encourages the addition of fruits and vegetables in her meals. You can contact her at or visit

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