The Quintessential Perfect Reuben



So I was in the grocery store the other day kind of wandering around aimlessly because I had left my list at home which means without a list I can’t really shop properly.  I mean I had an idea of what I went there for however without said list anything and everything is fair game to end up in my cart.  That being said I found myself over at the deli counter getting some baked ham for Mr. Fantabulous’ daily TKW McMuffins when the woman ahead of me ordered a pound of corned beef.  Now this isn’t something I normally buy as well, I really never give it a 2nd thought.  It’s funny because when my brother owned his pizza shop the Reuben was a top sandwich seller and one of my favs.  As the clerk handed her the meat I caught a glimpse of it (okay I was being nebby (it’s a Pittsburgh word for being a nosey person – one that sticks their nose in someone else’s business) and wanted to check out what she was getting… do any of you do that? Ya know, see what ‘the others’ are buying?).  This corned beef was so beautiful!  It was lean but not too lean as to not be dry.  She then made a comment to the clerk that this was going to make awesome reubens.  Wait.. what???  Did she just mention a Reuben?

Mmmmmmmm…. that warm crusty rye bread, that gooey melty swiss cheese (seriously this is the ONLY way and time I will eat Swiss cheese as typically I can’t stand it), that tangy sauerkraut and for me the spicy tangy whole grain mustard.  Yeah yeah yeah I know.. Reubens are supposed to have that Russian dressing cucka stuff.  You are MORE THAN WELCOME to put it on yours however no way no how is it going on mine.  I just don’t like it *blech*.  After day dreaming about this sandwich in line and the clerk asking me twice “will there be anything else ma’am” I came to my senses and ordered a pound of the corned beef and some baby swiss.

I rushed through the store, actually forgetting to buy what I went there initially for, and raced home.  Fortunately I had made a big loaf of Pumpernickel bread a couple days prior and I knew that was the bread I wanted this on.  Now when asked it pretty much boils down to 3 types of bread that is deemed acceptable for a proper Reuben – Jewish Deli Rye, Pumpernickel or Marbled Rye.  It’s pretty much your call and honestly, it depends on the area you’re in as to what bread is more prevalent.

Seriously folks as I was making this my eyes were as big as silver dollars and I had this BIGGEST grin on my face because I KNEW just how amazing this sandwich was going to be.  As I cut it in half and the cheese began to ooze Mr. Fantabulous gave me a ‘HEYYYYYYYYYYYYY WHAT’SSSSSSSSSSSS THAT AND WHERE’S MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINEEEEEEEEEEEE????’  Being the loving wife that I am I said “Oh honey this is a test recipe, let’s just split it to see if it would taste OK.” hoping he would say forget it and go eat a bowl of Cheerios.  No such luck… damn it!  LOL  So I gave him half and I think he actually never did taste it. I think the whole half went in his mouth and he swallowed whole.  LOL  Well okay it wasn’t that way but pretty close.  He’s a fast inhaler to say the least where as I, I’m dainty and delicate and take girl bites.  LOL NOT!  Actually I do take small bites but that’s because the first 2-3 bites I’m not really enjoying my food per se yet, I’m actually ‘listening’ to my flavor pallet and seeing how the flavors marry together.  Thinking of things I would change, tweak, add and so forth.  But by bite 3 I was HOOKED and so in love with my HALF of the PERFECT REUBEN… damn it!  Only half… *sigh*  God love that man *wink*

The Quintessential Perfect Reuben
Find more fantabulous recipes, tips and tricks at Also, join our TKW Family on Facebook
  • 2 slices Dark Pumpernickel or Jewish Rye
  • 1 Tbl melted butter
  • 3 slices of thinly sliced corned beef
  • 1 tsp water
  • 2 Tbl sauerkraut with 1/4 tsp caraway seed mixed in
  • 3 slices baby swiss cheese
  • 1 Tbl whole grain mustard *or 1 Tbl Russian Dressing (recipe below)
  1. Wrap the bread in aluminum foil and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes – just until crispy.
  2. When the bread is crisp, remove from the oven, unwrap and allow to cool slightly
  3. In a medium skillet with well fitted lid, add the corned beef, sauerkraut and water.
  4. Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 minute.
  5. Remove the heat and add in 1/2 of the whole grain mustard or Russian dressing.
  6. Stir just until heated through.
  7. Heat up a cast iron skillet over medium heat. *Note: If you have a Panini press, use that for the remaining steps.
  8. Take 1 slice of the crunchy bread and brush one side with butter.
  9. Lay buttered side down flat in the hot pan and add 1 ½ slices of cheese down.
  10. Next add the meat and sauerkraut.
  11. Top with the remaining cheese and remaining slice of bread that has been buttered. Buttered side facing up.
  12. After about 5 minutes or when the bottom is all toasted nicely flip the sandwich and push down slightly again.
  13. Cook until the bread is nicely toasted and the cheese is all melty.
  14. Serve with remaining mustard or Russian Dressing.
Russian Dressing 1/4 cup mayonnaise 3 Tbl chili sauce 2 tsp sour cream 1/2 tsp curly parsley leaves, chopped 1 1/2 tsp Spanish onion, grated 1 1/2 tsp dill pickle, minced Splash of lemon juice (~1/8th tsp) 1/8-1/4 tsp horse radish 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce 1/4 teaspoon paprika salt and pepper to taste 1. Mix all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


5 Responses to “The Quintessential Perfect Reuben”

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe:  

Subscribe today for Deliciousness!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Shop in my Amazon Store!
Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.
Load More
Recipes You Love