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Last Updated on March 13, 2022 by Aimee
There is nothing like a Classic Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich served on buttery, toasted Rye bread, piled high with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and plenty of Thousand Island dressing!
In this post, I will show you how to make a Classic Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich. I noticed when researching this recipe that the Internet is full of questions regarding this sandwich, so let’s take a deep dive into what a Reuben is – and isn’t.
Why is it called a Reuben?
According to WhatsCookingAmerica.net, “The sandwich was invented by William Hamerly, a New York accountant and bachelor cook. He named it for Arnold Reuben, founder of Reuben’s New York Restaurant. Arnold Reuben has done a great deal of work for New York charities. He, in fact, received several awards for his charitable work.”
Is a Reuben made with pastrami or corned beef?
Traditionally a Reuben sandwich is made with corned beef and sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing on a buttery toasted Rye bread.
What is “corned” beef?
According to the Smithsonian, “The British invented the term “corned beef” in the 17th century to describe the size of the salt crystals used to cure the meat, the size of corn kernels.
What is the difference between pastrami and corned beef?
The difference between the two is the way they are cut and processed.
What is the difference between a Reuben and a Rachel? What is a Reuben with coleslaw called?
If you want to get technical, a Reuben sandwich made with pastrami is called a “Rachel”. Another notable difference is that the sauerkraut is replaced with coleslaw.
What kind of bread is on the Arby’s Reuben sandwich?
Marbled Rye. It’s the only way to go 🙂
Is a Reuben sandwich hot or cold?
Reuben sandwiches are traditionally served hot with melted Swiss cheese.
What to serve with a Reuben sandwich?
I think french fries are the perfect side to this sandwich!
How to make a Classic Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich
To make a Reuben, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Marbled Rye Bread
- Butter, softened to room temperature
- Thousand Island Dressing
- Corned Beef, sliced very thin
- Sauerkraut, drained of any liquids
- and Swiss Cheese Slices
Turn the bread so that your slices will match up and butter what will essentially be the toasted exterior.
From here, we’ll be building the sandwich directly in the pan. Next up is a liberal spread of the dressing.
Does a Reuben have Russian or Thousand Island Dressing?
Traditionally, Russian Dressing but they are very similar with a base of ketchup and mayonnaise with a creamy texture and tangy flavor. Masterclass.com states that “Russian dressing features horseradish and chili pepper, making it spicy. Sweet pickle relish is a key ingredient in Thousand Island dressing, which makes it sweet.”
The truth is that they are commonly used very interchangeably and it boils down to your personal preference. I am using Thousand Island today.
I used one and a half slices of cheese per slice of bread for full coverage. We’ll also be using it again to top the sandwich.
Add your corned beef slices. I like to loosely pile it on.
Top with a mound of sauerkraut that you have drained of all liquids.
Top the sauerkraut with another slice and a half of the cheese.
Take the other half of your bread, slather on more of the dressing and carefully place the buttered bread on top. Allow the first side to toast before flipping. Flipping is the hardest part of this recipe 🙂
Once you’ve flipped, add a heavy pan to the top of your sandwiches to weigh them down. This will help compact them and keep things from falling apart.
Your sandwiches are starting to look really good at this point!
Allow the sandwich to rest for just a few minutes. This will make slicing a bit easier.
Serve your Reuben warm with a side of dressing for dipping and of course, french fries. Enjoy!
Did you make my Classic Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought. You can also tag me with your photos on Instagram @aimee_stock I love seeing what you come up with.
Classic Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich
- 1 Non-Stick Skillet
- 4 slices Marbled Rye Bread
- 6-8 slices Corned Beef sliced very thin
- 6 slices Swiss Cheese sliced very thin
- 4 tbsp Thousand Island Dressing plus more for serving
- 1/2 c Sauerkraut drained of any liquids
- 2-3 tbsp Butter softened to room temperature
- Butter the exteriors of all four slices of the Rye bread and place two in a preheated skillet over medium heat.
- Begin building your sandwiches in this order:Thousand Island Dressing, Swiss Cheese Slices, Corned Beef, Sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese Slices, Russian Dressing and top with the other slice of bread (butter side up).
- Just like grilled cheese, continue to cook until the first side is toasted and then carefully flip.
- Add a heavy pan to press the sandwiches as the second side toasts.
- Remove the sandwiches to a cutting board and allow to cool for just a minute or two. If you cut it while the cheese is melty, it will just fall apart.
- Serve with french fries and a side of the dressing for dipping, if desired.