Friday, July 24, 2015

Homemade Russian Dressing and Reuben Sandwiches

Photo courtesy of Betty Crocker

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I don't often serve sandwiches for supper, but a busy day at the County Fair made them a great choice for dinner tonight. I might also add, a 2 pound package of pastrami managed to find its way its way into my grocery cart the last time I shopped at our local warehouse store. I needed to start using it, and what better way to do that than to make Reuben sandwiches. These days many restaurants serve Reubens as open-faced sandwiches. While I think they look beautiful when made that way, I also think that makes for a dry sandwich, so, when I make my own I enclose the filling and happily grill until my cheese is oozy. This is a simple sandwich to make and the only way you can go wrong is to overstuff or burn it. I've developed a formula of sorts to use when making Reubens. It helps me control the urge to overstuff the sandwich. The quantities in the recipe below work for us, but I urge you experiment until you come up with a formula that is perfect for your family. Here is how I make mine.

Reuben Sandwiches...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

2 tablespoons soft butter
8 slices dark rye or pumpernickel bread
8 slices deli sliced corned beef or pastrami
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
1/2 cup Russian dressing (recipe below)


1) Preheat a large skillet or griddle on medium heat.
2) Lightly butter one side of bread slices. Spread non-buttered sides with Russian dressing. On 4 bread slices, layer 1 slice Swiss cheese, 2 slices corned beef or pastrami, 1/4 cup sauerkraut and second slice of Swiss cheese. Top with remaining bread slices, buttered sides out.
3) Grill sandwiches until both sides are brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 sandwiches.

Russian dressing, which was first called Russian mayonnaise, is a salad dressing first created by James Colburn in Nashua, New Hampshire around 1910. Contrary to popular belief, and despite the fact that they are used interchangeably, Russian dressing is not the same thing as Thousand Island dressing. The addition of horseradish makes Russian dressing far more piquant than the sweeter Thousand Island dressing.

Russian Dressing...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce, cocktail sauce or ketchup
1 tablespoon bottled horseradish, drained
1 teaspoon minced onion


In a glass bowl, combine mayonnaise and other ingredients. Chill. Store unused portion in refrigerator, where it should keep for a day or two — or longer if you used store-bought mayonnaise. Makes about 1 cup of Russian dressing.

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Julie R said...

Hi Mary,

What is that 2nd to last ingredient? Is it fresh horseradish? I love a good Reuben



Kenneth Ching said...

The Russian Dressing ingredient list looks like it is missing the item for 1 tablespoon drained...

Kurinji said...


Anonymous said...

In the Russian Dressing, 1 tablespoon drained what? I am anxious to try this but I am not sure what else is supposed to be in this. Thanks.

Kuba said...

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce, cocktail sauce or ketchup
1 tablespoon drained , ONE T drained what??????????????
1 teaspoon minced onion

Mary Bergfeld said...

Thank you all for pointing out the recipe omission. The missing ingredient is horseradish. I have corrected the recipe and I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. Blessings to you all....Mary

David said...

Mary, I love a good Reuben sandwich but I usually have it with spicy mustard. But I do like your recipe for Russian dressing and I'll give it a try. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Linda A. Thompson-Ditch said...

Reuben sandwiches are one of my favorites! I agree about grilling it to melt the cheese. Yum! I like how you list both corned beef or pastrami in the ingredients list. I typically use corned beef, but pastrami is delicious, too. Also, thanks for the Russian dressing history lesson and explaining how it differs from Thousand Island.

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