A show title sandwiched into a pun about a Reuben sandwich… yep, it doesn’t get much better than this!
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Bandstand is a new musical currently taking Broadway audiences by storm, featuring 1940s swing music played by cast-members on stage. World War II veterans, struggling to return to normal existence in New York, form a band and hope to compete for a prize which will transform their lives, beset by post-traumatic stress, survivor’s guilt and complex relationships… Just this week, Andy Bankenbuehler won a Tony award for best choreography.
You won’t be suprised to learn that there is no direct link between this recipe and the show… (surely not – Ed) although this is a New York classic and dates from around the same period as the show is set (so not at all spurious then… – Ed).
A classic Reuben sandwich contains corned beef*, Russian sauce*, swiss cheese, sauerkraut in rye bread.
* Note for UK readers: use salt beef not the corned beef sold over here. Russian sauce is essentially a marie rose sauce with chopped shallots.
I’m not a big fan of sauerkraut, so my version uses red onion pickled in lemon juice instead (and omits the shallots from the Russian sauce so as to not over-onion it!).
Finely slice the red onion and let it marinate in the lemon juice for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise (have we mentioned On Mayown recently?) and tomato ketchup until you get a sauce that is to your liking – you can also stir in a bit of the oniony lemon juice in due course, and season with black pepper.
Divide the cheese between the slices of bread, with most of it on one slice, and a “garnish” of cheese on the other. Melt the cheese under a grill. Once melted, add a layer of the beef, the sauce, the pickled onions (drained) and, if liked, the chopped dill. Top with the remaining slice of bread and tuck in!