This week I’m merging two sandwiches into one sandwich with a few blended twists along the way.
There might be a slim chance that I made this sandwich simply because Reuben Cuban is such a fun phrase to say, but you’ll never be able to prove that this is true.
Bounded by Buns’ history with Reubens and Cubans
I’ve previously written about the Reuben and the Cuban sandwich. Click the photos below to explore more about either sandwich. Or keep scrolling to see where this madness ends up.
If you’ve followed along recently, you’ll know that I corned a large piece of beef a bit or so ago, and at that point, I made some very tasty Reuben sandwiches. I froze some of that corned beef and a bit later, I thawed it out to start Reuben Cuban week!
First, as always, we need some bread.
Marble rye Cuban rolls
For this Reuben Cuban sandwich, I decided to roll and bake some marbled Cuban rolls. For the dough, I used my marble rye bread recipe, removed all the fat, and substituted it with lard. This is the Cuban inspiration that I applied to the bread for this sandwich.
If you’ve never made marbled bread, this might not be the first attempt you should try, but it’s not much more complicated than just making a marble rye loaf. In this case, I made dough, and then after the first rise, I split it exactly in half. One half you leave light colored and the other one goes back into your mixing bowl to have black cocoa added and incorporated. You can do this with your hands too, it just takes a few minutes of kneading.
Once you’ve added color to half of your dough, you divide both the light dough and the dark dough into three pieces each and you arrange and “marble” them together as I do in this slideshow.
Once these two doughs are rolled up into three rolls, it’s time to get down to business and start the baking process. Marble rye dough is firm, so it’s fairly easy to shape and roll up into a cylinder.
The next process is to roll those ends up into pointed tips. This isn’t a requirement, but it does help with beautification, and we will be eating these rolls with our eyes due to their eventual beauty, that’s for sure.
Once the loaves are rolled up and shaped with tapered ends, and the oven is preheated, you can make some quick cuts or slashes. This is also mostly for aesthetic reasons, but there’s a chance that during baking the dough will expand and burst out and these slashes give an opportunity for the dough to expand without forcing cracks and bursting through the outside.
One of the hardest parts about baking marble rye is waiting four or five hours for the whole baking and cooling process to be completed before you can slice the bread to see your results. Below are photos of my results and I’m happy with how it turned out.
Reuben Cuban sauce
Every sandwich needs a sauce.
Since this sandwich is a merging of a Reuben and a Cuban, I wanted to come up with a sauce that was a blend of the two sandwiches. I chose to incorporate the two most flavorful components from Russian dressing with one of the most flavorful ingredients of a Cuban sandwich.
This is my Reuben Cuban sandwich sauce and it’s zesty and spicy. If you just added a tablespoon or 2 of mayonnaise to this Reuben Cuban sauce, you could take the sauce a step further and turn it into a fantastic burger or secret sandwich sauce.
I toyed with a few blends and my final sauce ended up being a blend of yellow mustard, chili sauce, and prepared horseradish. Here’s the recipe for the sauce, but I also included it in the main sandwich recipe down below.
The Reuben Cuban ingredients
From top to bottom here’s what we need to make a Reuben Cuban:
Reuben Cuban sauce
Swiss cheese slices
Swiss cheese slices
Reuben Cuban sauce
The Reuben Cuban recipe below covers my recipe for corned beef, but it’s also in my Reuben sandwich recipe. It requires a bit of brining time for the corning process, but other than that, it’s a painless cooking process.
Other Reuben Cuban ingredients
Swiss cheese is a big part of a Cuban sandwich, so it’s in this one too. Not much to add other than make sure the cheese is on the outside of the inside of the sandwich so it’s closest to the heat for melting reasons.
The two ingredients that I didn’t mention yet are sauerkraut and dill pickles. Those are respectively ingredients from the Reuben and the Cuban. I made these ingredients for this sandwich, but you can just buy them. There’s a store near you that sells them unless you live on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or something.
Some Reuben Cubans
Here are a few of the Reuben Cubans that I made throughout the week. It was a good week.
Let’s view the sandwich-building process
Here we go, let’s watch this gif.
Reuben Cuban sandwich recipe
Here’s my Reuben Cuban recipe. This was a fun sandwich and I enjoyed making AND eating it!
A fresh take on a Reuben and a Cuban sandwich is accomplished simply by merging them both into one.
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon allspice berries
- 1 tablespoon pink curing salt (Prague #1) - this is not pink Himalayan salt
- 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (whole)
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 to 5 pounds beef brisket flat
- water for braising
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 Cuban bread roll
- Reuben Cuban sandwich sauce (from above)
- 2 to 4 Swiss cheese slices
- corned beef (from above)
- dill pickles
Corned beef: add 2 of your 4 cups of water to a medium-sized pot. Add kosher salt, granulated sugar, cloves, allspice berries, pink curing salt, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, and bay leaves to the water and bring to a boil. This is your brine.
Allow the brine to cool slightly and add the last 2 cups of water.
Add your 3 to 4-pound brisket to a container that you can store in the refrigerator for the next five days. Cover the brisket with your brine. Add more water if needed to keep the brisket fully submerged in the brine.
Store the container with the brisket for the next five days. At least once a day, flip the brisket and stir up the brine.
After five days remove the brisket and discard the brine. Rinse off the brisket in cold water until it is clean of all brine, seeds, and peppercorns.
Preheat oven to 300 F (148 C).
Add the brisket to an oven-safe pot or dutch oven that will hold it. Add as much water as needed to fully cover the brisket.
Over medium-high heat, bring the pot containing the brisket and water to a boil. Once it has come to a boil, remove from the heat, cover the pot and add it to the preheated oven. If you do not have an oven-safe lid for this pot, you can wrap the top in two layers of aluminum foil.
Cook for 3 to 4 hours until the corned beef is very tender when pierced with a knife.
Allow corned beef to cool for at least an hour before slicing. Slicing is best if the meat is cool, so resting overnight in the refrigerator would be best. Meat slices best when it is firmer and cooler.
Slice as thin as possible against the grain so that the resulting slices are very tender.
Reuben Cuban sauce: in a small bowl combine all ingredients.
Store in the refrigerator for less than 2 weeks or so.
Sandwich assembly: slice your Cuban roll.
Add Reuben Cuban sandwich sauce all along both sides of the roll. Lay your slices of Swiss cheese on the bottom roll.
Top the Swiss cheese with slices of corned beef. Add sauerkraut and pickles on top of the meat.
Top the kraut and pickles with your other slices of Swiss cheese and top that with the top of the bread roll.
Cook the sandwich in a panini press until the bread gets crusty and browned. If you do not have a panini press, you can use a hot cast iron skillet with another skillet on top of the sandwich, pressing it down. This will griddle one side and you will have to flip the sandwich but it will work.
Make your own Reuben Cuban sandwich
Check back next week when hopefully none of the sandwich newsletter emails I send out will go to SPAM folders. 😲