BBQ Brisket Reuben Sandwiches

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Active: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Tangy Russian-style Dressing

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons prepared dill pickle relish

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

BBQ Brisket Sauce

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 fresh bay leaves

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika, 1/3 palmful

A couple pinches ground cloves or allspice

Lots coarse black pepper

1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced cooked beef brisket

1 (16-ounce) package prepared sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

8 slices good quality marble rye bread or 4 "wick" rolls (caraway and salt seeded buns)

Softened butter, if using bread rather than rolls

8 slices Swiss cheese (recommended: Emmentaller)

4 big deli pickles, for serving

Radishes, halved and salted, for serving


  1. For the Russian-style dressing: In bowl, mix dressing of sour cream, relish, ketchup, chives, salt, and pepper.
  2. For the BBQ Brisket Sauce: Combine the ketchup Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves, garlic, paprika, ground cloves, and black pepper in a small pot and reduce over low heat, 30 minutes. Cool and store for make-ahead meal with cooked, sliced brisket.
  3. Warm the sauerkraut in a small pan.
  4. Heat a sandwich press or a large griddle pan over medium heat.
  5. Place a slice of Swiss cheese, folded to fit the bread, on 4 slices of bread, lightly buttered on one side and the buttered side facing out. Divide the meat among the sandwiches. Top the meat with some sauerkraut and another slice of cheese. Slather some dressing on the remaining sliced bread, lightly butter the side facing out.
  6. Press the sammies on a sandwich press until the cheese melts or griddle the sandwiches until deeply golden on each side. Serve the sandwiches with halved deli pickles and salted radishes.

Cook’s Note

Store in a container and chill for a tangy Russian dressing for Reubens later in the week. The night you want to make sandwiches, reheat the brisket in the homemade barbecue sauce in a covered skillet, add a splash of stock or water to get things going if the sauce is too tight, then uncover and keep warm over low heat.

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