RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Where Reuben All My Life Burger

My first Reuben was a little intimidating. I had never had rye bread before (or any brown bread for that matter). Sauerkraut was also quite a mystery, crunchy, wet and smelled a little strange. The corned beef looked a little like the roasted beef I was accustomed to but it was different all the same. But the first bite eradicated any bias I thought I would have. The melted Appenzeller cheese coupled with the sweet saltiness of the corned beef transported my palate to a fabulous new place. Oh, the dressing- absolutely delicious, stunning, perfect. The textures melding together and creating a flavor cacophony that was unmatched in my albeit limited world experience. When I thought of building a better burger, I immediately knew that with the Reuben as my muse, the recipe would be fantastic.


3 slices dark rye bread
1 3/4 pounds fresh corned beef, ground
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small shallot, diced
1 cup drained sauerkraut
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
6 tablespoons Sutter Home Chardonnay
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ketchup
2 green onions, chopped (green included)
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon capers, drained
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
6 good-quality hamburger buns, split (not too hard)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill
6 slices Swiss cheese


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high.

To make the patties: Process the rye bread into soft crumbs. Combine ground corned beef, breadcrumbs, sour cream, Mascarpone, and mustard in a large bowl. Handle as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit buns, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.

To make the Onion-Sauerkraut Topping: Heat a large, heavy nonstick, fire-proof skillet on the grill. Melt butter in the pan, and add onion and shallot, cook until onion begins to turn translucent, stir occasionally. Stir in the sauerkraut, celery seed, and caraway seed. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the wine and salt and continue cooking until most of the wine is reduced. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.

To make the Dill Mayonnaise Sauce, place the mayonnaise, ketchup, green onion, horseradish, mustard, Worcestershire, capers, and dill in a small processor. Process until well blended. Remove the mixture to a small bowl and refrigerate until serving.

Brush the top and bottom (cut-side) of the buns with melted butter. Place on a dish and set aside.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until done to preference, about 5 to 7 minutes on each side. During the last 4 minutes of grilling, place equal portions of the sauerkraut mixture and a slice of cheese on each patty. Place the buns, cut-side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, place equal portions of the dill mayonnaise on the bun tops, place on each burger and serve.