Smashed Reuben Burgers

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Sure, the Reuben sandwich is a classic that can't be improved. That doesn't mean magic won't happen when it's reimagined as a hamburger. Here, we take a page from the Gospel of Slider and the Gospel of Smashed, to create a gooey, dripping, crusty, delicious Reuben burger.

Why this recipe works:

  • Smashing the burgers in a hot skillet or on a hot griddle creates a crispy, lacy crust that can't be beat.
  • Melting cheese both on the patties and on the bread guarantees that the cheese will be totally melted and fused to both the meat and the bread.

Smashed Reuben Burgers

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About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:30 minutes
Special equipment:2 large stainless steel or cast-iron skillets or large cast-iron griddle, sturdy metal spatula or metal bench knife
This recipe appears in: Burger Toppings Week: The Smashed Reuben Burger

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoons fresh juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon grated horseradish from a jar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 small thin slices Jewish rye bread, or 4 large thin slices Jewish rye bread cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound freshly ground beef chuck, preferably about 80 percent lean, formed into 4 (4-ounce) balls
  • Ground coriander seed, for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup drained sauerkraut
  • 8 thin slices Swiss cheese, divided

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, relish, lemon juice, and horseradish. Season Russian dressing with salt and pepper and set aside.

  2. 2

    Brush rye bread with softened butter and set on a rimmed baking sheet in 1 layer. Bake in oven until toasted, turning once, about 5 minutes.

  3. 3

    Heat oil in 2 large skillets or 1 large cast iron griddle over high heat until smoking. Season beef balls all over with salt and pepper and add to skillets or griddle, spacing them apart. Using a sturdy metal spatula, smash each ball to a thin round patty. Sprinkle with coriander seed and cook until well browned and crusty on the bottom, 2-4 minutes.

  4. 4

    Top each patty with sauerkraut, then scrape patties from skillet using a sturdy thin metal spatula or metal bench scraper, and flip so that sauerkraut is on bottom side.

  5. 5

    Top each patty with 1 slice of Swiss cheese and cook until kraut is softened and browned slightly and cheese has melted.

  6. 6

    Meanwhile, set remaining 4 slices Swiss cheese on half of bread slices and return to oven to warm bread and melt cheese, about 1 minute. Set cheese-topped bread slices on patties, cheese side down.

  7. 7

    Spread Russian dressing on the 4 remaining bread slices, reserving any remaining dressing for another use. Lift each burger stack and set on top of bottom bread with Russian dressing. Serve immediately.

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