Open Faced Pastrami Reuben


Serves: 4

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1.5 # Pastrami (thinly sliced)

1.5 # Swiss cheese (grated)

1 cup Thousand Island dressing

8 slices of rye bread

2 cups sauerkraut (or quick cabbage sauté see recipe at bottom)


1.) Preheat oven to 350 f

2.) In a large skillet heat 1/2 tbsp oil and 1/2 tbsp oil over medium high heat and add pastrami in a single layer, browning on both sides (1 min per side)

3.) Remove when browned and repeat step one in batches in the same pan until completed

4.) Turn heat down to medium and add all pastrami along with ½ cup of dressing

5.) Gently toss and brown, this caramelizes the dressing into the meat and adds a depth of flavor

6.) When completely glazed start assembling the sandwiches

7.) Spread each piece of bread with 1 tbsp of dressing and top with a ¼ cup of sauerkraut

8.) Put 3 oz of meat then 3 oz of cheese on each sandwich

9.) Place finished trays on a sheet tray sprayed with pan spray and put in oven for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned and warmed through


Cabbage sauté

½ medium onion (small diced)

1 tbsp butter

4 tsp caraway seeds

2 cups sliced cabbage (thinly sliced)

¼ c apple cider vinegar

¼ c chicken stock or water

Salt and pepper


1.) Heat the butter and onions until browned with a pinch of salt and the caraway seeds

2.) Add the cabbage, vinegar, more salt, and chicken stock to butter onion mixture and cook until dry (approx 20 min, be sure to stir often)


Long known as the best hangover cure, this like the egg is nature’s perfect food.  Steve Dahl had a staff member whose sole job was to get him these when he had the Irish flu.  I was taught this method of browning and glazing the meat from a French chef that could not indulge because of a recent stroke.  Perhaps he was eating vicariously through his pupils, and he solved the problem of unequal 1000 island distribution.  I chose pastrami because it has a better texture and possibly because of an obsession after having the best pastrami at Manny’s deli.  I know the cabbage sauté might be more time consuming but sometimes canned liberty cabbage doesn’t do it for me.  This sandwich needs an acidic element to cut through the salty and fatty pastrami and sweet dressing and I like the fresh approach.  This works for a hangover but it would also work at a carnie weddings reception.