Corned Beef For Rubens


Corned Beef For Rubens is a one-of-a-kind, fun demonstration of the corned beef ruben. The corned beef ruben is a variation on the classic New York Reuben sandwich.

Our corned beef is both irresistibly good, and devilishly convenient. It’s great for watching sports, featured on the Travel Channel’s Booze Traveler, and even better in your favorite sandwiches. Why Ruben? Because our corned beef is so good, it deserves to be called Rubens.

Reuben Sandwich

A reuben is one of the best all time sandwiches. Full stop! We believe it belongs up there on the sandwich Mt. Rushmore along with the BLT, Banh Mi and Meatball Hero. Not only is built on one of the best of all sandwich breads, rye of course, but it balances the salty, cured corned beef with tart sauerkraut and mild, almost creamy melted Swiss. And don’t get us started on Russian dressing.

The original sandwich is said to have been created back in the early 1900s!  And it is now a deli mainstay that has been riffed on time and time again (see our amazing Rueben Egg Rolls for a twist worthy of any of your leftovers).

A good reuben should be loaded—and we can assure you that this one is! Make your own Russian dressing or buy store-bought, but just make sure to use a liberal amount! It acts like the perfect ‘glue’ to adhere this epic sandwich together.

Have you made this yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
Read More + Read Less –

Cal/Serv: 683

Yields: 4

Prep Time: 0 hours 5 mins

Total Time: 0 hours 15 mins


For the sandwich


slices rye bread

4 tbsp.

butter, softened

1/4 c.

Russian dressing


slices Swiss cheese

3/4 lb.

corned beef

1 c.


For the Russian dressing

1/2 c.


3 tbsp.


2 tbsp.


2 tsp.

Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp.

granulated sugar 

1/4 tsp.


Kosher salt 

Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Butter one side of each slice of bread. On the non-butter side spread Russian dressing on each slice. Top half of the slices with cheese, corned beef, and sauerkraut. Top each sandwich with remaining slices, dressing side down. 
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Place a sandwich in skillet and cook until golden and cheese is melted, 3 minutes per side.

Russian dressing

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire, sugar, and paprika until combined. Season with salt and pepper. 

Nutrition (per serving): 683 calories, 40 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 42 g fat, 20 g saturated fat, 1,783 mg sodium

Corned Beef & Rubens

Call me corney, but I love this beef

Corned beef is just like Turkey- most people only make it once a year. Why? No one knows. It’s just the way it is. Is it hard to make? no. Is it delicious? Yes. So why, I ask! Why? I have no idea. And again, just like turkey, the only thing better than dinner itself is making sure you have leftovers.

Okay so, lets talk about the beef itself. What is it, exactly?

The term “corned” basically means it is salted meat. Similar to a cured meat, like prosciutto. However where prosciutto is cured and dried, corned beaf is cured but not dried out and still requires cooking.

As for the cut of beef, it is typically the brisket cut and often comes with the fat cap still attached.

But what about that stuff in the can that is also called corned beef? Ummm… yeah, I don’t eat that stuff. And, you shouldn’t either. It’s loaded with nitrates and super high in sodium and overall, just really gross. Stick with the fresh stuff.

Hold up. “Fresh.” Well, it is and it isn’t. And it is certainly not all created equal. Like many cured meats (bacon, sausage, etc.) most corned beefs are loaded with nitrates which are a known carcinogen. I do my best to avoid them, and you should too. It’s nitrates and their nasty comrades that give some corned beef it’s well known pink color and also expands their shelf life more so than salt itself. This also keeps the price down. When you remove all that stuff, you end up with a less attractive, but more delicious, brown cut of beef. The choice is yours. I always opt for nitrate free when given the option.

Corned beef is really quite easy to make. It’s the fixings that bring it all together. I love a really good, spicy mustard and a side of cabbage. What I love more than that, is a homemade ruben sandwich. Corned beef with smothered with melted Jarlsburg cheese, covered in sauerkraut and mustard on Rye. Something about the combination of salty beef, the sour bite from the sauerkraut and the spicy punch from the mustard come to gather for a very delicious savory sandwich! Ohh… how I love a ruben. Thus, I always make double the amount of corned beef so we have plenty of leftovers!

The Recipe

Corned Beef

PREP TIME10 mins

COOK TIME3 hrs 45 mins

TOTAL TIME3 hrs 55 mins

COURSEMain Course



  • One 3 lb. corned beef brisket in brine
  • 16 cups cold water
  • 2 bay leave
  • 6 all spice berries
  • 3 whole cloves
  • Mustard for serving
  • A Large Dutch Oven


  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. 
  • Rinse Corned Beef. Place beef in dutch oven, add all ingredients and bring to a boil on the stove top. Meanwhile, skim off any scum that rises to the surface. 
  • Cover and transfer to the oven for 3 hrs. It should be fork tender. If it does not want to split with a fork, let it cook longer.
  • If serving immediatly, remove from liquid and set aside. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for about 20 minutes. If you are cooking in advance, remove from heat and let it come down in temperature in or out of the liquid, and then wrap tightly until ready for use.
  • Slice the meat ACROSS THE GRAIN into 1/4 inch slices. If you do not cut this meat across the grain, it will be chewy. To make sure you are slicing correctly, slice a piece and if you can break it apart easily, you are on the right track.
  • Serve with good quality spicy mustard


*corned beef shrinks considerably! You can figure on about a pound a person when buying it. Make extra for leftovers and make Ruben Sandwiches! 

Reuben Sandwich with Homemade Russian Dressing

Juicy homemade Reuben Sandwich Recipe. Slices of rye bread piled with corned beef, cheese and loaded with sauerkraut and a homemade tangy Russian dressing. This Reuben is everything a grilled sandwich should be.

Homemade Reuben Sandwich stacked with a side of chips.

What is a Reuben Sandwich?

A classic Reuben is a sandwich consisting of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing between slices of rye bread that is grilled until the bread is crispy and the cheese melts.

Though the sandwich may be enjoyed hot or cold, we love serving it HOT. The meat is heated and cheese melts and the tangy dressing penetrates into the sauerkraut creating an irresistible grilled sandwich.

All of the needed ingredients for a Reuben arranged on a board.

What Ingredients go on a Reuben Sandwich?

  • MEAT- Corned beef that’s store-bought (deli dept), or use leftover homemade corned beef.
  • SAUERKRAUT- Homemade Sauerkraut or storebought will work great.
  • DRESSING- Tangy homemade Russian dressing.
  • CHEESE-  Swiss cheese is the classic cheese used.

How to Make a Reuben Sandwich?

  1. Prepare the Russian dressing – just stir it together.
  2. Butter one side of each slice of bread.
  3. Add the dressing, corned beef, sauerkraut and cheese to the bread and close to create a sandwich.
  4. Cook both sides of the bread slices as a grilled cheese until the cheese melts and bread slices are crispy.
Detailed step-by-step collage how to make a traditional Reuben Sandwich recipe.

How to Make Russian Dressing?

Though you can purchase Russian dressing or even substitute with Thousand Island dressing instead, the homemade dressing is SO GOOD and really easy to make.

  • In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, chili garlic sauce, lemon juice, creamy horseradish, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, onion, paprika, salt and pepper until creamy.

TIPS for Making a Reuben-

  • Bread- You want to make sure to use a good quality rye bread as it adds so much flavor to the sandwich.
  • Sauerkraut- Be sure to drain as much liquid from the sauerkraut as you can or the sandwich will be soggy. TIP- If you don’t like sauerkraut, you can use Coleslaw instead.
  • Garlic butter- If you really like garlic, sprinkle some garlic powder over the butter spread on the bread slices before cooking the sandwich.
  • Meat- Though corned beef is the classic meat used in a Reuben, you can substitute for pastrami.
  • Panini- You can use a panini press or a griddle to cook the sandwich instead of a skillet if you have one.
  • Dressing- The dressing does have some heat in it from the chili garlic sauce. If you don’t like spicy food, add the sauce to taste.

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