Soon after it was invented by Bernard Schimmel, the Reuben won the National Sandwich Idea Contest in 1956. Now, nearly 60 years later, the combination of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing is still a deli favorite. It's definitely mine. Whenever I'm lucky enough to eat at a classic New York City deli for lunch, a Reuben is my go-to order — but I always swap out the corned beef for pastrami.
As much as I love the sandwich, though, I've never once made it at home. The lengthy cooking methods for both corned beef and pastrami completely contradict my sandwich ideal: a quick, no-fuss lunch or an easy weeknight dinner.
This recipe solves the problem. Changing the meat once again, I sub out pastrami for an all-beef, char-grilled hot dog, which I top with all the best parts of a Reuben: melted Swiss, hot sauerkraut, and tangy-sweet Russian dressing.
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, and lemon juice to make the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Put the sauerkraut in a medium-sized sauté pan and cook over medium-low heat until warmed through. Remove from the heat and cover the pan. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the dog buns on it.
With a knife, score each frank 6 or so times on a diagonal line. This will ensure even cooking and a crisp char. Preheat a grill on medium-high heat. Grill the hot dogs until charred to your liking, about 4 minutes per side.
Turn the broiler to high. Place the hot dogs in the buns. Sprinkle each with ¼ cup grated Swiss cheese. Put the baking sheet under broiler, and with the oven door open, watch carefully until the cheese is just melted.
To each hot dog, add 1/3 cup hot sauerkraut and spoon on some dressing. Serve immediately.