Montreal smoked meat Rueben sandwiches with German sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, vegan mayo, and sweet Dijon mustard on grilled rye bread. --with two cold bottles of Ontario beer and a soft pretzel

Montreal smoked meat Reuben sandwiches with German sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, vegan mayo, and sweet Dijon mustard on grilled rye bread. –with two cold bottles of Ontario beer and a soft pretzel

Schwartz’s Montreal Smoked Meat! We live on Canada’s West Coast and Montreal is 5,000 km away so you can imagine that a treat like this is pretty rare. My husband Gord was unpacking goodies from his suitcase after a conference in Ottawa. Out came a box of Stubbe’s chocolate liqueur truffles (delicious, delicious, try them), a bottle of Ontario Pinot Noir, and a bag of Schwartz’s smoked beef. Schwartz’s is a Montreal institution since 1928, known for the smoked meat they cure for 10 days in a blend of secret spices. Gord’s Montreal colleague David had packed the smoked beef in his suitcase and brought it for Gord to the conference along with a loaf of Schwatrz’s rye bread. From Vancouver, thank you David! We made Reubens and dinner was delicious. I’ve even included Lauren’s vegetarian Reuben recipe below for our vegetarian guest.

 

Montreal smoked meat Reuben sandwiches with German sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, vegan mayo, and sweet Dijon mustard on grilled rye bread. --with side of shredded carrot, minced kale, and grape tomatoes

Montreal smoked meat Reuben sandwiches with German sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, vegan mayo, and sweet Dijon mustard on grilled rye bread. –with side of shredded carrot, minced kale, and grape tomatoes

There are many variations of Reuben sandwiches. This is how I like them best: German sauerkraut, quality mayo, sweet Dijon mustard, Swiss cheese and Montreal smoked meat – grilled in rye bread. Online photos of Schwartz’s sandwiches and Reubens look like they are stuffed with 2/3 pound of meat. Our sandwiches have a little less meat and a thick layer of German sauerkraut. German sauerkraut, simmered with white wine and juniper berries, is sweeter and richer than plain sauerkraut and it complements smoked meat perfectly, IMHO. I’ve made German Sauerkraut from scratch before but I’m lucky to have a proud German deli nearby, Black Forest Meats. German sauerkraut is fairly straightforward to make, and if you want to try your hand, here is an excellent short video and recipe by an old master who has obviously made batches and batches in his career.

Vegetarian Reuben with marinated tofu, German-inspired sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, vegan mayo, sweet Dijon mustard on grilled rye bread. --With shredded carrot, minced kale and baby tomato side. Served with a soft pretzel and cold Ontario beer.

Vegetarian Reuben with marinated tofu, German-inspired sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, vegan mayo, sweet Dijon mustard on grilled rye bread. –With shredded carrot, minced kale and baby tomato side. Served with a soft pretzel and cold Ontario beer.

A rich meal makes you want fresh veggies, and we served our Montreal smoked meat Reubens with minced kale, grated carrots, and grape tomatoes on the side. Minced raw kale is my new favourite. The kale disappears into your dish and you don’t end up chewing for hours, all the while congratulating yourself on eating healthy. Here you go – a Western Canada/Eastern Canada, German, Jewish, meat lover, vegetarian meal for dinner!

 

The Recipes

Montreal Smoked Meat Reuben Sandwiches + Vegetarian Option
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Reuben sandwiches for dinner or lunch. Layers of Montreal smoked beef, German sauerkraut, mustard, mayo and Swiss cheese served warm on grilled rye. Vegetarian Reubens made with marinated, sautéed tofu.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner, Lunch
Serves: 2
Ingredients
For Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich
  • 6 oz /170 g Montreal Smoked Meat, or high quality deli Corned Beef or Pastrami
  • 2 oz /57 g Swiss cheese, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp /30 ml Mayonnaise, good quality
  • 1 tbsp /30 ml sweet Dijon mustard, to your taste
  • 1 c /240 ml German Sauerkraut, drained
  • 4 slices light Rye Bread, good deli quality
  • 1 tbsp /15 ml Butter
For Vegetarian Sandwich
  • All of the above ingredients except Montreal Smoked Meat
  • 2 tbsp /30 ml Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp /15 ml HP sauce (Steak sauce if you can't get HP sauce)
  • 2 tsp /10 ml Soy Sauce (preferably Japanese)
  • 1 tsp /5 ml Dijon Mustard
  • 3 thin pieces of Ginger, sliced sideways
  • 1 medium Garlic Clove, peeled and crushed
  • ¼ tsp /1.25 ml Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp /1.25 ml Sweet Paprika
  • 6 oz /180 g Firm Tofu, approx. 1 cup /240 ml
Instructions
For Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich
  1. Wrap Montreal smoked meat in tin foil and place in 300F /150C oven for approx. 10 minutes until steamed and just hot.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly butter rye bread and place on heavy skillet, buttered side down.
  3. Slather top pieces with Dijon mustard and mayonnaise.
  4. Layer German sauerkraut on one slice of bread.
  5. Place Swiss cheese on other slice of bread.
  6. Cover pan with lid and cook on low-medium heat until sauerkraut is warm and cheese is just melted, approx. 10 minutes Remove lid and cook for another 2 minutes. Bread should be lightly browned and crispy on the outside.
  7. Remove smoked meat from foil and place onto the cheese.
  8. Slap the two slices of bread together and enjoy!
For Vegetarian Sandwich
  1. Make sauce by mixing together all vegetarian recipe ingredients except tofu in medium bowl.
  2. Place tofu into sauce bowl and coat with sauce. Let stand 15 minutes.
  3. Pour tofu and all of the sauce into a non-stick skillet. Sauté at medium heat until hot, approx. 10 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, butter rye bread and place on heavy skillet, butter side down.
  5. Slather top pieces with Dijon mustard and mayonnaise.
  6. Layer cheese on one slice of bread.
  7. Place Swiss cheese on other slice of bread.
  8. Cover pan with lid and cook on low-medium heat until sauerkraut is warm and cheese is just melted, approx. 10 minutes Remove lid and cook for another 2 minutes. Bread should be lightly browned and crispy on the outside.
  9. Place sautéed tofu onto the cheese.
  10. Slap the two slices of bread together and enjoy!
Note:
  1. German sauerkraut usually contains smoked pork. Vegetarians and individuals who do not eat pork can cook from scratch. An excellent, short video and recipe by an old master is included in the blog post. For vegetarians, replace meat with veggie bacon. For individuals who do not eat pork, replace pork with good smoked meat.
Two Reubens with smoked Montreal beef, German sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, vegan mayo, sweet Dijon mustard on grilled rye bread. --With shredded carrot, minced kale and baby tomato side. Served with a soft pretzel and cold Ontario beers.

Two Reubens with smoked Montreal beef, German sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, vegan mayo, sweet Dijon mustard on grilled rye bread. –With shredded carrot, minced kale and baby tomato side. Served with a soft pretzel and cold Ontario beers.

 

YOU Next Year Principle

Buy your food from the proud artisan who made it, whenever you can, and he will never let you down.

 

YOU Next Year Quote

I said, “You know if you had really, really been intent on entrapping me on my wedding night, you wicked woman, you would not have dabbed yourself with Joy, but in Essence of Smoked Meat. A maddening aphrodisiac, made from spices in Schwartz’s delicatessen. I’d call it Nectar of Judea and copyright the name.

Mordecai Richler

Canadian Author, the novel Barney’s Version