Growing up, this was my most requested meal for birthday dinners and celebrations(you mean to tell me not every 8 year old girl loves a good old corned beef & sauerkraut sandwich?!)All jokes aside, to this day, Rebuens are an ultimate comfort food for me. This is an adaptation of the recipe my Mom grew up making us, but with better ingredients (no offense, Mom!)
1 pkg corned beef brisket (sold in the meat section)
4 cups beef broth
4 cups water, as needed
1 loaf Deli rye bread
1/4lb sliced swiss cheese
1.5 cups sour cream
1/4 cup mustard
1 pkg fresh sauerkraut (stay away from the shelf stable/canned stuff if you can)
1.5lbs homemade corned beef (or deli sliced is fine too)
1/4 stick melted butter
Homemade Corned Beef:
In your favorite crockpot, pour in 4 cups of beef broth. On top, add the slab of corned beef and sprinkle the seasoning packet on top (the seasoning packet should be inside the meat packaging.) Cover and set to low for 8-10 hours, adding water to cover the top of the brisket as needed. If you’re at work and can’t add more water, don’t worry about it- you can’t screw this recipe up. Once ready to eat or assemble Reubens, take the brisket out of the crockpot and let rest for 5 minutes.Slice against the grain(I take it back, this is the only part you can screw up. You MUST slice brisket against the grain- YouTube it if you don’t know what that means. Slice thin for sandwiches, thicker to eat with cabbage & such.
Start by laying out 12 pieces of rye bread on a cookie sheet. Brush each piece of bread with the melted butter, then flip over so the buttery side is on the bottom.
In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and mustard- adding more mustard to your desired taste. I aim for a gender- neutral- baby- yellow.Disclaimer: true Reubens call for Thousand Island Dressing- this is my family’s version of that, so take it or leave it.
Dollop about a tablespoon of the dressing mixture to each piece of bread, spreading to all the corners. I don’t like to waste, so just use up whatever is in the bowl. Next, add a slice of Swiss cheese on top of each piece of bread. Drain the sauerkraut very, very well. Top 6 of the pieces of the bread with the sauerkraut- you might have a little extra.I make one with no sauerkraut for my kids.Next, top the sauerkraut pieces with 3-4 slices of corned beef. You should have a little extra. Finally, pair up each of the sandwiches- so each sandwich has one sauce & cheese half, and one sauce, cheese, sauerkraut & corned beef half.
Set the oven to BROIL (yes, broil.) Arrange the sandwiches evenly on one cookie sheet, making sure the buttery sides are facing out. Listen to me carefully: do not leave your oven while these cook. The sandwiches can see you- the second you walk away they will start to burn.Please just ask my husband how many burnt Reubens he’s eaten in the last 10 years.
Once the top sides are looking golden and delicious, remove the tray from the oven, *carefully* flip the sandwiches over, and continue to broil on the other side until golden brown. Let them cool for a few minutes, slice in half, and serve! Growing up, I loved nothing more than pairing a homemade Reuben with a nice big bowl of Velveeta mac & cheese (I’m disgusting I know.) Truth be told, I don’t even make a side to go with this meal these days- the sandwiches are massive. But some nice Cornichons or a crisp salad would be delicious.
If you make these, you must tell me how they turned out!