Grilled Reuben(ish) Sandwich

I love cooking and eating outside…  OKAY, okay… and drinking.  It feels like an adventure or mini vacation, whether we take the  portable Weber with us or pack a picnic.  Just being somewhere new with a different view is fantastic.  It’s stimulating for the mind and good for the soul (for both man and dog).  We have a few spots that we like to hit, but one of our favourites is Spanish Banks.  Whether we land at the dog beach or further west just below the upper gravel parking lot, you can’t beat the view of the North Shore.

This was a day that I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to grill something or pack a picnic of bread, meat, cheese, etc.  Either way, a bottle of Cabernet was a foregone conclusion; it was already packed.

Easy solution: Barbequed Sandwiches.  I love corned beef.  I’ve actually brined my own in the fridge for two weeks.  That is a commitment.  Not just the turning and flipping of the meat a couple of times a day, but the dedication to eating 10 pounds of brisket.  It’s just me and my wife at home and she taps out pretty quickly.  Consuming that amount of salty, brined meat will give anyone cankles.  My thighs went straight down to my feet and the wedding ring on my finger looked like a 16th century corset around John Goodman’s waist.

The reason I call this a Reuben(ish) Sandwich is because I’ve strayed from the traditional Reuben.  This Recipe makes TWO sandwiches.

INGREDIENTS:

4 slices of Sour Dough Bread (Traditionally Rye.  Whatever you use, it needs to be solid if you’re putting it on the grill.  I like Terra Breads’ Levain.

2 tablespoons of softened butter

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise  (traditionally Russian sauce or thousand islands)

2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard

1 cup of drained sauerkraut

8 ounces of corned beef, sliced thick (buy pre-cooked at a quality deli or buy a corned beef in brine at the supermarket and simmer/cook it at home the day before)

4 slices of Gruyère (Emmenthal also works and I’ve even used Havarti)

DIRECTIONS:

1.   Butter one side of each piece of bread.  Be thorough and go right to the edges.

2.   Lay those 4 pieces butter-side down on and spread mayonnaise on two and Dijon on two.

3.   On the Dijon-covered slices layer the corned beef, half on each.  You want it to be hanging over the edge to increase the surface area for the melting cheese.

4.   Put the sauerkraut in a couple of paper towels and give it a good squeeze to get a little more liquid out, then split it up and pile it on the corned beef.

5.   Place 2 pieces of Gruyère on each pile of sauerkraut. Make sure that together, they are covering the whole sandwich.

6.   Place the mayonnaise-covered bread on top of the cheese, butter side out.

7.   Carefully transfer the sandwiches, cheese-side on the bottom, to a medium grill and cover for 4 minutes or until the grill-side bread is toasted and golden.

8.   Very carefully with a spatula and good hold on the sandwich, turn it over.  Now the cheese side is on the top.  Cover and cook until other side is toasted.

9.   Turn off the BBQ, but keep the lid on and let the ambient heat finish melting the cheese if it’s not gooey enough yet.

10.  Plate the sandwiches and let cool for just a few moments before eating.

Cooking these sandwiches on the BBQ gives the bread a nice smokey flavour.  Pair with one of your favorite Reds.  A bottle of Cabernet or Merlot would work great… or both if you don’t mind taking a taxi home.

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2 Comments on “Grilled Reuben(ish) Sandwich”

  1. November 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    A food/dog blog? My two favorite things in the world. Kudos.

  2. November 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    And wine? Excellent. Sorry I doubled up on comments. Also, the lighting in that reuben picture is really stunning and inviting. It makes me wish I was at a bbq right now.

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