What to do with still the remaining homemade corned beef in the fridge? Reuben sandwiches, of course! They were actually the reason why I made my own corned beef in the first place because I’ve been curious about how they are made ever since I tasted a really good version from Gettin’ Hungry, themorning deli on Hudson Street with the giant wooden lion inside. The origin of the Reuben sandwich is still being disputed, but it is essentially a grilled sandwich made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye bread.
I also don’t eat a lot of sandwiches besides the Vietnamese kind, but when I make them at home, I like them to be elaborate. But there are two things I don’t stock in the kitchen: ketchup and mayonnaise. It was snowing outside, but I made the trip to the grocery store anyway to pick them up. In the same aisle, I discovered horseradish cream sauce from Kraft. It looked like mayonnaise, but I guessed correctly, a touch of dried horseradish was included in the mix. Reuben sandwiches require a Russian dressing that looks like Thousand Island, but I figure, I can get away with this ready-made type especially after already spending five hours making my own corned beef the other day.
Combine the following to make Russian dressing if you don’t want to use ready-made horseradish cream sauce:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbsp ketchup
1 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
corned beef, shredded; thinly-sliced if not homemade
Swiss cheese slices
sauerkraut, excess water squeezed off using paper towels
8 slices rye bread
horseradish cream sauce
half a stick unsalted butter, softened in microwave for 15 seconds
1. Spread one side of each bread slice evenly with some butter. With buttered sides down, spread horseradish cream on four slices and with some corned beef, sauerkraut and equal portions of cheese. Top with remaining slices, buttered side up.
2. Place large skillet over high heat and melt a small knob of butter. Reduce heat to low and add sandwiches. Using an iron grill press, put on top of the sandwiches and press. Cook until browned and crisp on both sides, about 2 minutes a side. Transfer to a platter lined with parchment paper. Cut in half and serve.