First let me address your immediate question: pastrami?
Yes, pastrami. Evidently there are reubenites who prefer pastrami to corned beef. Who knew? Until Google, I certainly did not.
Anyway, I was lucky enough this summer to score the last package of Upton’s Naturals seitan pastrami at the Veganmania fest in Chicago. Even though this is a special item and not in their regular rotation of retail products, I was really hankerin’ to see what Upton’s would do with the pastrami spices. And this reuben is awesome! The only part that’s really mine is the extra ingredient in the vegan Thousand Island dressing.
PREFACE: The trick to pulling this off is to work fast to heat all the ingredients and have a lid for your skillet so you can melt the Daiya® cheese before your bread gets too toasty. You could probably melt everything under the broiler but my broiler’s on the floor of my stove and you know how weird I am about creepy dark spaces.
SnarkyVegan’s Pastrami Reuben with Special Sauce
Special Thousand Island Sauce:
- 1/2 cup Vegenaise ® Original Dressing and Sandwich Spread
- 2 T. chili sauce (not ketchup)
- 2 T. pickle relish
- 1 t. Annie’s Naturals Worcestershire sauce
- 2 thick slices of rye bread
- 1/3 cup sauerkraut
- 3 slices of Upton’s Naturals pastrami (let’s all pester Upton’s to make the pastrami available in stores)
- 1/3 cup Daiya® Mozzarella and Cheddar blend
- 1 T. Earth Balance
- Get all sandwich ingredients ready to stack on the bread quickly cuz toasting in a skillet goes fast. Also have a splatter guard handy.
- Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside. You’ll have plenty for several sandwiches and maybe a big salad.
- Melt the margarine over medium in a skillet and heat the pastrami slices until hot but not crispy. The pastrami will start to curl like bologna did when we made fried bologna sandwiches as kids.
- Flip it a couple times then push pastrami to the side in the skillet and add the sauerkraut to get warm in another part of the skillet.
- Now you have to start hustling. Place 1 slice of rye in the skillet and top with heated pastrami and kraut.
- Top quickly with Daiya, close lid tightly and warm until Daiya melts. About 5 minutes.
- Lift lid and add second slice of bread. flip sandwich and put special sauce between toasted bread side and the pastrami. Get the splatter guard!
- Toast in skillet until second side of sandwich is toasty. Daiya should be melted by now.
- Plate with a side of pickles and special sauce.
Anything that requires a splatter guard is awesome in my book. Even though what splatters makes you fatter.
This could easily be made under the broiler or in a George Foreman sandwich grill.
Remember, if it’s not messy, you’re not doing it right ;-)
November 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm
Oh my GOD, woman!!! I’m a total sandwich person and that sandwich looks awesome! I need that pastrami! NOW!!! No word on whether on not they’ll offer it any time soon? I knew I should have gone to VeganMania! :'(
I’ve actually never had a reuben vegan or otherwise. I think the main reason is the sauerkraut. I’ve never tried sauerkraut and am afraid to because the smell is just… awful. It really does smell bad and I tend to smell everything I’m about to eat. That’s the main reason I stay away from most vegan cheeses. The smell completely turns me off. I wish I didn’t have to smell everything beforehand. Come to think of it that’s kind of weird, huh?
I might just give it a try because your sandwich looks crazy good. I’m going to pester Upton’s on Facebook right now lol. That pastrami looks great too and something tells me the sandwich won’t be the same without it.
November 17, 2010 at 9:42 pm
I second Lisa Marie’s reply because it is exactly the same! I WANT this sandwich NOW!!! Yum!
November 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm
I too am weird when it comes to things that are fermented. That’s why I hate kombucha. It’s a Monk/Howard Hughes thing. But sauerkraut is different. I love it. If you think about it, cabbage and Brussels sprouts also stink when they’re cooking.
Yes, yum. If Upton’s could just make this a permanent option in stores, I can now make my own reubens.
November 17, 2010 at 11:35 pm
wow, that looks really good
November 18, 2010 at 3:18 am
That is a dream sandwich, right there.
November 18, 2010 at 3:59 am
Your food photos always makes me so hungry!!! That looks like a perfect and rewarding lunch. I want!!!
November 18, 2010 at 9:59 am
Dang girl, too much awesome!
November 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm
Reubens just might be my very favorite sandwiches and this looks so good!
November 25, 2010 at 7:59 pm
Good tips! Packing meals is always a must!
December 3, 2010 at 5:36 pm
Thanks ladies. Reubens are really a special sandwich. Nothing else like them.
February 25, 2015 at 10:39 pm
I just had a craving for a pastrami sandwich, but haven’t eaten meat since 2006. I’m glad I found this and I’m glad I have a local store that sells Upton’s. Yay. Thanks.