The Classic Reuben Sandwich

St. Patty's Day is coming up and that means corned beef will be consumed in mass amounts in the next couple of weeks. While I love a good plate of corned beef and cabbage, I also love a good Reuben sandwich. I guess that sauerkraut is somewhat of an acquired taste. Twenty years ago you couldn't have paid me enough to eat one. Now, it's my most ordered sandwich when I'm out for lunch.

I like to make them at home, too. While I will sometimes use meat from a corned beef and cabbage I have made in the crock pot, there's rarely enough meat left over to make a sandwich.

So, for today's lunch I grabbed some of the makings at my local grocery store. I love Rosen's seedless rye. I also do love Pepperidge Farm's marbled rye, but can't seem to find it very often. For the Kraut, I like the refrigerated Vienna brand, but if I don't see this at the store, I also like to get a can of Frank's Kraut. Be sure to get good quality meat. I always get Vienna if it's available. It's pretty lean and has good flavor. I ask for it to be thinly sliced. For the cheese, I got the Dietz and Watson that was on sale. My favorite cheese for Reuben's is actually the Sargento thin sliced Swiss. And the final ingredient you need is Thousand Island dressing. I don't have a brand preference and usually just get what is on sale. I did watch a recent video on a blog where a couple made homemade Thousand Island dressing and I'd like to do that myself sometime.

Just a tip - this is great for spreading on your bread when you make your sandwich. It's lighter in calories and cholesterol, but when you're having a sandwich like this it's not likely that you're watching calories that close! :)

Butter one slice of bread and put it face down in your skillet. Add a slice of cheese, then your meat (pictured is a smaller size one I was making for my son, but I wouldn't go easy on the meat - 6 to 8 thin slices at the least. Add sauerkraut and then dressing. (If you'd like, mix the kraut and dressing together in a bowl before adding to sandwich.) And a hint on the kraut. Don't drain it. I usually don't use a full pack, so I save the rest to add to polish sausage and need the juice to store it. I usually put all the contents in a container and just scoop out what I need with a fork, holding it for a minute to let excess juice drip off.) Add your second slice of cheese, then second slice of buttered bread on top and flip. Heat until bread is toasted and brown and cheese is melted.

The results are absolutely delicious! Last time I made Reubens I discovered someone had finished off the corned beef and so I made some with ham and it was a decent substitute if you happen to have a taste for a Reuben, but no corned beef.