Recipe courtesy of Erik Rubin

Rubin's Reuben

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 12 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Inactive: 9 hr
  • Cook: 2 hr 25 min
  • Yield: 16 servings
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4 cups kosher salt

2 cups brown sugar

1/3 cup black peppercorns

1/4 cup juniper berries

8 allspice berries

8 whole cloves

2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

2 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick, broken

One 5- to 8-pound beef brisket, trimmed from butcher


Butter, softened

Rye bread

Beer Braised Sauerkraut, recipe follows

Swiss cheese, sliced

Smoked Russian Dressing, recipe follows

Beer Braised Sauerkraut:

8 ounces applewood smoked bacon, diced

1/2 Spanish onion, diced

1 pound sauerkraut (bagged or jarred), drained

1/4 cup brown sugar, plus more if needed

One 12-ounce bottle IPA beer

1 bay leaf

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Smoked Russian Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

3/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, drained

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 small tin anchovies, mashed

3 drops liquid hickory smoke


  1. For the brisket: In a large pot, combine the salt, sugar, peppercorns, juniper berries, allspice, cloves, mustard seeds, bay leaves and cinnamon stick and cover with 2 gallons water. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from the heat and chill to 40 degrees F.
  2. Fill a marinade injector with some of the brine and inject the brisket with as much brine as it will hold. Submerge the brisket in the remaining brine and store in a baking dish, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  4. Place the brisket into a large roasting pan and cover it with as much of the brining liquid as the pan will hold. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven until tender and medium-rare, about 2 hours. An instant-read thermometer should register 130 degrees F. Remove the brisket from the oven, place on a platter and/or cutting board and tent with foil. Let the brisket rest for 1 hour. Slice as thinly as possible.
  5. To serve: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Butter the rye bread and place on a baking sheet. Top with 6 ounces thinly sliced brisket, some Beer Braised Sauerkraut and a slice of Swiss cheese. Bake the Reubens until the cheese is melted and warmed through, about 5 minutes. Top with Smoked Russian Dressing.

Beer Braised Sauerkraut:

  1. Heat a saute pan over medium heat, add the bacon and render the fat, cooking until bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and saute in the bacon fat until translucent. Add the sauerkraut, sugar, beer and bay leaf and simmer until almost all of the liquid is gone, about 15 minutes. Add the bacon back to the pan to warm through and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and brown sugar.

Smoked Russian Dressing:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator.
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