Reuben Burger

A hot dog or Polish sausage with sauerkraut is a natural combination, and with a good mustard, is awfully hard to beat. Some people will say that sauerkraut with anything is to die for.

I’m one of those people. A favorite dish of mine is baby back pork ribs cooked in sauerkraut. And served with potatoes (I prefer mashed, although boiled are pretty good, too), it’s a meal made in heaven.

So, when I saw something called a Reuben burger on the new Whitey’s menu Friday, it didn’t take long to make up my mind about what to order. The burger, which probably was a quarter- to a half-pounder, was topped with shredded pastrami, a slice of Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing and, of course, sauerkraut. A couple of pickle slices were served on the side.

I would rate the burger a strong 8 or 9 on a scale of 10. I so satisfied that a Web quest was begun to find a recipe for a Reuben burger that could be made at home. Here’s what I caught my fancy, and maybe will yours.

Reuben Burger
1 cup deli-sliced pastrami, finely chopped
1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
1 pound  extra-lean ground beef
1 cup sauerkraut, drained, rinsed, squeezed dry and finely chopped
1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
4 hamburger buns
¼ cup sauerkraut, divided
4 slices Swiss cheese
Heat oil in medium skillet over high heat. Add pastrami and cook, stirring, until slightly crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove from skillet and cool. Meanwhile, combine ground beef and 1 cup sauerkraut. Add cooled pastrami, salt and pepper and mix well. Divide into 4 patties. Preheat barbeque grill to high.
Lightly brush one side of each patty with oil. Place oiled side down on hot grill and then oil top side. Cook, 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until an internal temperature of 160 degrees is reached. Meanwhile, toast buns on grill.
Spread tops and bottoms with Thousand Island Dressing. Place cooked patties on bottom buns, top with additional sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. Return to barbeque and cook on low heat, until cheese melts, about 2 minutes.
Top with toppings, bun tops.
Yield: Serves 4.