I found the problem... and the problem is...

I may be run off of the SDMB on a rail, but it is true. Allow me to back up a bit.

I love Reubens. They are a perfect synergy of foods that on their own are average at best, but when combined create nirvana.

So, a few months ago my grocery of choice changed their “standard” brand of deli meats to a new brand. Most of the meats were very good, but I got corned beef to make reubens and it had a wierd smokey, chemically taste. I tried it again with the same results. Finally this week I specifically asked for a different brand of corned beef because the other was so bad. I excitedly made a ruben and … yuck… same chemical smoked taste. I couldn’t believe they changed corned beef to some horible thing and I would never enjoy a good reuben again.

I was putting away the ingredients, and somehow noticed the bottle of Thousand Island Dressing… but it wasn’t… it was Thousand Island Dressing with Bacon (I don’t know how to code it but that “with Bacon” should be in really fine print). I need to check closer because I don’t think this could possibly be real Bacon but more like Bacon floavored meat food.

Any way, I ran out and got real Thousand Island dressing and it was nirvana again! My wife agreed saying that she thought I was “ruining” it by heating the meat before putting it on the sandwich, but loved it when I used the regular TI dressing. Normally I am with most dopers who think bacon makes everything better, but trust me… chemical bacon in Kraft TI dressing can totally ruin a Reuben.

Yes, I’m ready to be burned at the stake for this opinion, but the “bacon” flavor in this dressing is really vile.

I am a fond consumer of teh hog, but…yuck. That sounds awful!
Thanks for the heads up, and I will be wary of swine in my sauce.

Now, if it were REAL bacon, it might be good.

I was going to start a thread today on how finding edible corned beef in my city is a nightmare. I’ve had a homemade Reuben craving for a week now, and my local supermarkets either DON’T CARRY corned beef (WTF?) or the stuff they call corned beef is some salty nasty-tasting crap that is nothing like corned beef. I feel like I’m living in the boonies, instead of one of the larger west coast cities. The guy at the deli counter today said he ordered corned beef, but they sent head cheese instead.

I’ve made corned beef sandwiches with bacon on them and they are heavenly. They may not improve on the classic flawlessness that is a Reuben, but a Bacon Reuben is still wonderful in it’s own right.

Also, I like bacon on my salads (duh!) and I like Western Dressing on those salads. It’s a strong pairing. But, they also sell an abomination called Western Dressing with Bacon Flavor and when I bought it it was inedible on a salad.

From these two examples I feel safe in concluding that bacon is not to blame here. It’s the horrific faux-bacon chemicals that are the issue.

I agree completely. I think if I fried up some nice apple wood smoked bacon and added it to the sandwich I would have liked it. But this I’m sorry to say made me think the meat was “off.” The worst part is it took me several spoiled sandwiches to realize it wasn’t the meat but the dressing.

What IS it with the Reuben thing? I was craving one, so I got the makings…

Oh. Wait. We had corned beef. It was on sale. It all makes sense now, nevermind!

Can’t wait for Kraft to come out with Reuben flavored dressing so I can just pour it on plain toast.

Then put bacon on top.:smiley:

Is TI Dressing really a requirement? Seems to me that whenever I’ve ordered a Reuben, it sometimes comes with TI, sometimes without.

When all is said and done, I actually prefer it without. Is that some kind of sacrilege?

Not sacrilege, but it’s just not a Reuben.

I always make my own dressing for Reuben sandwiches: Miracle Whip (yeah, I know, but I like the stuff!) + ketchup + dill pickle relish. It tastes pretty much the same as the stuff you get in a bottle to me, and I can make just enough for one or two sandwiches at a time.

[slight hijack]

My wife has become enamored of maple flavored bacon, and tries to use it interchangeably with the smoked kind. It. Doesn’t. Work.

Balushkis (Polish fried cabbage) really sucks when maple bacon is used. Then she get all bent out of shape when I refuse to eat it.

[/slight hijack]

I love Reuben sandwiches. There is a place not far from my house that makes the same sandwich created by Reuben Kulakofsky for the Poker group that met weekly at the Blackstone hotel in 1925.

It does not use thousand island dressing. Try your Reuben with Russian dressing instead. I ordered a Reuben at a chain restaurant a couple of weeks ago and got a sandwich with smoked turkey, ham, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and thousand island dressing. It was very tasty, but it was not a Reuben.

Reuben Kulakofsky’s sandwich from 1925 is corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye bread then lightly grilled.

your first mistake was buying Kraft dressing.

longhair75 in some areas of the country Russian dressing is very difficult to buy. I sub TI dressing on my Reubans as well.

Friend Miss Woodhouse,

You are right that Russian dressing can sometimes be hard to find. I make my own using Emeril Lagasse’s recipe:


* 1 cup mayonnaise
* 1/4 cup chili sauce
* 1 tablespoon minced yellow onion
* 1 tablespoon minced dill pickle
* 1 tablespoon minced celery
* 1 tablespoon minced parsley leaves
* 1 tablespoon heavy cream
* 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon sugar
* Salt

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except salt and whisk until well-blended. Add salt to taste, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups