Corned beef Reubens are one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. The salty and heavily spiced corned beef compliments the tangy sauerkraut, with some sharp Swiss cheese and hearty rye bread topped with some Russian Dressing, tying it all together.
While I'll eat Reubens cooked almost any way, I especially love them when the corned beef is sous vided at 131°F (55°C) for a few days. It comes out so moist and tender, but still has an amazing bite that really works well in Reubens.
For a more traditional texture, you can cook the corned beef at 176°F (80°C) for 12 to 24 hours. Or go for 156°F (68.9°C) for a firmer, but still tender result.
I like to make homemade corned beef since it gives me complete control over the salt and seasonings, but this recipe also works well with most store bought brands.
Some corned beef can be really salty. If you find this is usually the case for you, or you don't like salt much in general, you can soak it in a container of clean water for a few hours, or even overnight. This will help pull out some of the salt, making it more palatable.
Note: You can learn more about corned beef from viewing all my sous vide corned beef articles.
Once it's cooked, you can sear the corned beef if you want to, though traditionally it doesn't have a sear on it. Also, when slicing it, you can go as thick or thin as you want. Some people, like my Dad, want it sliced as thin as possible, while others prefer a thicker slab.
This recipe makes 4 sandwiches, though it can be hard to find a small corned beef. I usually make a regular sized 3 to 5 pounder and eat it several days in a row, with cabbage, Reubens, and corned beef hash. The larger corned beef doesn't change the cooking time at all.
I often toast my rye bread before making the sandwich, but if you prefer it untoasted that is fine as well. The sauce is usually Russian dressing or Thousand Island dressing, though I usually use Sir Kensington's Special Sauce.
I'm lucky to have several great butchers in my area, but sometimes I want to up my game and will turn to Snake River Farms, they have a wide variety of beef including Prime, American Wagyu , and dry aged. I also enjoy trying the different ranchers that Crowd Cow has available including their wagyu.
Note: You can learn more about corned beef from my sous vide corned beef articles.
Ingredients for Sous Vide Corned Beef Reubens
- 1 to 2 pounds corned beef (450 to 900g)
(Store bought corned beef often includes a spice packet)
- 8 slices of rye bread, toasted
- Russian dressing or "Special Sauce"
- 16 slices Swiss cheese or Gruyere cheese
Enjoying sous vide cooking? My free Sous Vide Quick Start course will help you get the most out of sous vide. You can start consistently creating amazing food with sous vide today!
Cooking Instructions for Sous Vide Corned Beef Reubens
Preheat a water bath to 131°F (55°C).
Add the spice rub, if present, to the outside of the corned beef. Place the corned beef in a sous vide bag then seal the bag. Place the bag in the water bath and cook for 1 to 2 days, until fully tenderized.
For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.
Preheat the broiler in your oven or toaster oven.
Take the sous vide bag out of the water and remove the cooked corned beef from the bag. Dry it off thoroughly using paper towels or a dish cloth. Slice the corned beef into the desired thickness.
Spread the Russian dressing on the bread. Add the sauerkraut and top with the corned beef. Place a cheese slice on top of the corned beef and then place under the broiler until it has melted. Place two pieces of bread together, cut in half and enjoy!