So I hear from “The Connoisseur” himself that in order for a sandwich to truly be perfect, the ratio of bread to filling (in this case – and in most cases-, meat) needs to be correct. Apparently this is essential – and becomes exceptionally necessary when crafting and then consuming a Reuben sandwich.

I tend to agree. I’m particular about my sammys too. Good, hearty bread – really good bread – and fresh fillings bursting forth. In fact, I refuse to partake in a sandwich served on flimsy, squishy bread, with less than 1/4 lb. of meat. That’s right folks. 4 oz. Otherwise, what’s the point?

This heartstrung “Ashley Fact,” became very apparent as we were traveling overseas in May.
Brian said to me, “I’m starving!!!!”
I said, “what do you mean? Why don’t you eat?”
He responded, “They only eat bread over here! The sandwiches they served us at lunch were the size of 1/4 deck of cards with one, only one, slice of meat or cheese. I need meat!”

Nope. That simply doesn’t cut it.

And, back at you babe for giving me a hard time for so long about buying a 1/2 lb. sliced roasted turkey for a snack on the go when I’m famished.

Meat is goooood…..

And so is this Reuben. And it’s messy too. THAT makes it even better!

A Reuben is a hearty-sized sandwich of corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese on Russian rye bread.  Did you know that the Reuben Sandwich is the nation’s top hotel and restaurant sandwich?

There are a couple of legends or stories involving the creation of the Reuben Sandwich.  

Who knows the story behind the true origin – all we know is that this sammy is famous!

Arnold Reuben, Jr., the son of the restaurants founder, believes that the sandwich was first made in 1927 or 1928 by one of the chefs who though that he ate too many hamburgers, made him a really good sandwich.

1914 – Patricia B. Taylor, daughter of Arnold Reuben (1883-1970), the founder of Reubens Restaurant and Delicatessen, remembers that her father made the first Reuben Sandwich in 1914.  She described the incident to Crag Claiborne of the New York Times in his book called Craig Claibornes  – The New York Times Food Encyclopedia:

“The year was 1914. Late one evening a leading lady of actor Charlie Chaplin came into the restaurant and said, ‘Reuben, make me a sandwich, make it a combination, I’m so hungry I could eat a brick.’  He took a loaf of rye bread, cut two slices on the bias and stacked one piece with sliced Virginia ham, roast turkey, and imported Swiss cheese, topped off with coleslaw and lots of Reuben’s special Russian dressing and the second slice of bread.  He served it to the lady who said, ‘Gee, Reuben, this is the best sandwich I ever ate, you ought to call it an Annette Seelos Special.’  To which he replied, ‘Like hell I will, I’ll call it a Reuben’s Special.’”

1925 – Another version is Reuben Kulakofsky (1873-1960), a wholesale grocer in Omaha, Nebraska and co-owner of Central Market in Omaha from 1900 to 1943, created the Reuben Sandwich.  Kulakofsky belonged to a weekly poker group whose members apparently enjoyed fixing their own sandwiches every bit as much as they enjoyed playing poker.  One of the players, Charles Schimmel, owner of the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, put the Reuben Sandwich on the hotel menu.

So, “The Connoisseur” doesn’t care for rye bread, so none of that here. I actually used my Easy Artisan Bread recipe and softened up the loaf with the addition of a touch of butter to make the bun of the bread just right for my honey bunny.
I also don’t care for corned beef – so we used freshly sliced roast beef.
And Russian dressing? No thank you. Italian all the way!

Homemade Reuben Sandwich

Bread: (Follow the recipe for Easy Artisan Bread)
However, after mixing the dough, divide the mixture into two balls. Allow one to rise on its own. Add 2 Tbs. softened butter to the second ball and mix again, until all the butter is incorporated. Allow to rise as usual.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bring the dough ball to room temperature (if made in advance).
Bake on parchment in one large loaf or two smaller loafs for about 40-45 minutes. This will keep the bread softer for the sammy as well (lower temp and longer cooking time).
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Italian Dressing:
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients into a jar with a tightly fitting lid and shake well to combine and serve. Ingredients will settle to the bottom of the dressing, be sure to shake thoroughly right before using.

2 Tbs. sauerkraut
4 THICK slices Swiss cheese
1/2 lb. freshly sliced roast beef

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Slice the homemade bun through the center. Slather with mayo, if desired. Line each side with 2 slices of cheese and top with the roast beef. Spoon the kraut over the top and drizzle with dressing.
Slam the two halves together and bake for about 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and gooey and the dressing is everywhere.


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