The exact history of the Reuben remains undocumented, but this roast beef sandwich filled with sauerkraut, cheese, pickles and Russian dressing is a classic Jewish deli lunch item and has been around since 1920s in New York.
- 12 slices rye bread
- 300 g (2 cups) sauerkraut
- 18 slices Swiss cheese
- dill pickles, to serve
- butter (optional), to cook
- 1.5 kg corned silverside
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 garlic cloves, bruised
- 3 allspice berries
- 250 ml (1 cup) mayonnaise
- 60 ml (¼ cup) hot chilli sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
- 2 tbsp finely chopped onion
- 2 tsp grated horseradish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make corned beef, place silverside in a pan, add remaining ingredients and 1 tsp black pepper, and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover partially and cook for 2 hours or until tender.
Remove from cooking liquid, drain and thinly slice 600 g of beef. Wrap in foil to keep warm. Refrigerate the remainder.
To make dressing, place all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined. Makes 1 cup.
Spread 2 tbsp Russian dressing on half the bread, top with corned beef, sauerkraut and cheese, then top with remaining bread. Serve with dill pickles. (Leftover corned beef and dressing will keep in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days).
For toasted sandwiches, lightly butter outside of each sandwich. Melt some butter in a frying pan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and fry sandwiches, in batches, for 3 minutes. Press down with a spatula, then turn over and fry for a further 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown.
Photography by Brett Stevens.
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2.