| Here's kind of a fun one that plays with the idea of a the famous Reuben Sandwich, yet ... there are no sandwiches and nary a slice of bread in sight!|
First, let's talk about a Reuben. Typically Reubens are hot grilled triple beefy stacked sandwiches. Grilled or toasted slices of Rye bread filled with thinly sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and sauerkraut. The origins are somewhat disputed, but it's clear that it's an American born sandwich, invented roughly 100 years ago, possibly during a recurring Poker game!
My aim is to reproduce some of the tastes and textures, but without the grains, without the sandwich and without the corned beef (or the corns). Instead, I'm using ground beef, flavored like a traditional corned beef brine. Also, because I'm a West Coast native (California born), I've replaced the traditional Russian dressing with Dijon mustard (a style of Reuben referred to as a "West Coast" Reuben). In place of the rye, I've added some caraway seeds to the sauerkraut, giving us that telltale taste. Finally I topped the whole shebang with loads of grated Swiss cheese, melting down, browning and tying the whole thing together. Perfect!
Juniper Note: I included juniper berries in this recipe, because they're a big part of the flavor in corned beef. However, I also know this is a weird ingredient, hard to find and is likely to just rattle around your pantry if you do track some down. Ultimately, this will be AMAZING with or without the juniper berries, but ... the addition of them WILL bring this that much closer to a true West Coast Reuben taste.