The Rueben was the second sandwich I ate with my Grandmother at the cafe in Lord & Taylor; I think I was seven. It has been a favorite ever since, with its toasty rye bread, shaved corned beef, tart sauerkraut, melty Swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing... the combo of flavors works beautifully together. So why a Reuben Bake, then? For the simple ease of it. If multiple people want a Reuben, it saves time to do an all-in-one.
And it's just as delicious--plus an easier cleanup. So there's that.
Need to feed 6-8? Double the recipe and use a 9 x 13-inch dish.
Notes: Rye bread is Jewish pumpernickel rye.
Ingredients: 5 slices rye bread, 8 ounces shaved corned beef, 7 ounces sauerkraut, 7 ounces grated Swiss cheese (about 2 cups), 1/3 cup thousand island dressing*, 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds.
*For the dressing (if making homemade): 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 1/2 tbsp. ketchup, 2 tsp. sugar, 2 tsp. sweet pickle relish, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, 1/2 tsp. paprika.
1. Preheat the oven to 400* F, and butter or spray an 8 x 8-inch baking dish.
2. Tear three pieces of rye bread into the bottom of the dish, enough to cover it. Add the shaved corned beef over the top of the bread.
3. Drain the sauerkraut well, then add it over the corned beef. Using a spoon, drizzle over thousand island dressing. Follow with the Swiss cheese.
4. Finish by tearing the remaining bread over the top. (If you don't want to see cheese poking through, you may use more bread.) Finish with a sprinkling of caraway seeds. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve immediately with extra dressing, if you like, and caraway seeds.
For an extra toasty top to the bread, bake it uncovered.
If you prefer the bread on the bottom to be toasted, lightly toast it before tearing it into the dish.
The recipe may also be baked in a 9-inch round dish or an 11 x 7.
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