Mini-Reubens {These will make you very popular}

mini reubens

If you ever want to make a cook’s day, request a favorite dish of his or hers.  Speaking from experience, we’re so thrilled that we’ve had a “hit” we’ll gladly oblige!

For years, I hosted Husband’s annual office Christmas party at our house.  The guinea pigs (God bless ’em!), who attended year after year, apparently had their patience rewarded with a few memorable offerings. That, and there was plenty of beer and wine…

As a result of those “experiments,” the one thing I’ve had more requests for really isn’t a “dish” – it’s a sandwich.  And a mini-sandwich at that.

These Mini-Reuben Sandwiches are pretty much the perfect party food.  You can make them well in advance, they’re easy to eat, and they’re “guy friendly.” And I don’t just make them for parties.  For all the reasons above, if you stop by during football season, it’s a safe bet I’ll have some of these on hand.

This week, though, I learned that a friend’s wife (one of our frequent party guests) had undergone an emergency surgery, and I offered prayers and anything else that might help.  His response?  “Prayers are great!  As for food, I could never refuse Mini-Reubens.”  

Coming right up!

There’s some debate about the origin of the Reuben.  I’m going with the version that says it originated in Omaha.  {It’s my hometown – I’m nothing if not loyal!}  A “traditional” Reuben is made with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and either Russian or Thousand Island dressing.  And it’s served on Rye bread.  As always, I’ve taken some liberties!  Like many, I prefer the taste of cured and spice-rubbed pastrami over corned beef.  {As far as brands, you can’t go wrong with Boar’s Head.} While you can certainly pick up a bottle of dressing for a shortcut, I think mixing four simple ingredients for the “secret sauce” makes for a superior sandwich.  I also use Pumpernickel bread – rye is great too, but Pumpernickel is just… well, it’s just more fun to say.  {It’s the little things…!}

Don’t skimp on ingredients here — get your meat and cheese from the deli counter.  Ask for shaved pastrami – not sliced.  It should be fall-apart thin.  And while you can buy swiss cheese already sliced and packaged, splurge at the deli counter.  Shop for your other ingredients while they’re getting this ready for you.

mini reuben - meat

5.0 from 5 reviews
makes 24 mini-reubens
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbs ketchup
  • 1 tsp caraway seed
  • ½ can sauerkraut, drained and chopped
  • 1 pound shaved pastrami
  • ½ pound swiss cheese, medium slices
  • 1 loaf cocktail pumpernickel bread (such as Rubschlager - 1 pound)
  • butter
  1. Heat large griddle or skillet to medium high.
  2. Mix mayonnaise, ketchup, caraway seed and sauerkraut together in small bowl.
  3. Cut or tear cheese slices to fit bread slices.
  4. Spread 24 slices of the bread with the sauerkraut mixture. Add shaved pastrami and cheese slices. Top with remaining bread slices. Butter both sides of sandwiches, if desired.
  5. Place sandwiches on griddle or in skillet, until brown, about 1 minute. Turn and brown on other side. Serve immediately, or move to cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. If making ahead: Cool completely. Place sandwiches in single layer in Ziploc bags. Freeze until ready to use. Reheat on a cookie sheet at 350 for about 20 minutes or until heated through.



Give these a try, and by all means, tweak them to make them your own.






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27 Responses to Mini-Reubens {These will make you very popular}

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