It’s Burger Month again, as hosted by the intrepid Girl Carnivore! My offering this year is this Smashed Reuben Burger. All the Reuben fixin’s piled onto a smashed all-beef burger and slathered with homemade smoky Russian dressing. Huzzah!
Find more of my epic burger recipes here. Enjoy!
This post is part of Girl Carnivore’s epic Burger Month event and giveaway and is sponsored by many wonderful brands. I received some free swag from some of the sponsors (yay). All opinions, as well as this particular burger, are my own.
Smashed Reuben Burger with Smoky Russian Dressing
Make sure you scroll down to enter the fantastic giveaway made possible by our Burger Month sponsors. But for now, let’s talk about this burger.
Last month I visited with the lovely folks at Fickle Creek Farm at the Western Wake Farmer’s Market. I purchased a grass fed chuck roast and used it to make Smoky Beef Carnitas. And since I knew Burger Month was coming up, I also grabbed some of their ground beef as well as a pack of Fickle Creek Farm corned beef that caught my eye.
From there, the leap to a Reuben burger was really more of a hop.
The burgers themselves are easy to make, and the dressing uses mainly pantry and fridge staples, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding everything you need. And you might have it all right this very second.
Here are some photos I snapped really fast so you can see what’s involved.
- Here are most of the ingredients for the smoky Russian dressing. You’ll also need salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk it all together. Done.
- Make sure to drain the sauerkraut through a strainer so your bread doesn’t get all soggy.
- Simple toppings for your burger: Swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing.
- Scale your burgers between 2.5 and 3 ounces. If you are going to make it a double, use 2 2.5 oz patties.
- Smashed flat–this one is almost ready to flip. I use the back of a rigid metal spatula to scrape the burger off the pan.
Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting
Tips and Tricks
- Do not use a non-stick pan to make this burger. You want the burger to get a nice, caramelized crust, and if you use non-stick, it won’t happen.
- It may get a little smoky in your kitchen while you’re cooking your burgers. Turn on your exhaust fan and/or open some windows. My smoke detector went off, mid-burger.
- Need more instruction on making smashed burgers? Check out Kenji’s post on SeriousEats.
- When making the Russian dressing, use the horseradish sparingly. The flavor will bloom in the fridge, and you can always add a bit more if you need it. You just can’t take it out.
- The two ingredients that make the dressing smoky are smoked paprika (you could also use chipotle powder) and Smoky Ketchup from one of our Burger Month sponsors, Red Duck Foods. You can order the ketchup from their site. It is excellent.
- You can use marble rye or seeded rye for this burger. The marble rye is prettier, but sometimes the layers separate, so the burger can be a bit messier to eat. I thought you should know.
- This burger is big but not crazy big. I cut mine in half since it is more of a rectangular shape than a traditional round burger, but it is no problem to pick up and eat out of hand, right down to the last bite.
Honestly, there is not a lot that can go wrong when making this Reuben burger. But, if you’ve never made homemade dressing before, here are ways you can adapt it to your taste.
- I don’t like spicy dressing. Leave out the hot sauce and cut the smoked paprika down to 1/4 teaspoon. Leave out the horseradish altogether to make it really mild, or only add 1-2 teaspoons.
- I like my dressing sweet. Add an additional Tablespoon of pickle relish or add a teaspoon or two of honey.
- I like really spicy burger sauce. Up the smoked paprika to 1 teaspoon. Better yet, use chipotle powder. Up the hot sauce to 2 teaspoons or more.
- I like simple sauces that still taste good. No problem. Use mayonnaise and cocktail sauce with horseradish already in it, add a splash of vinegar and a spoonful of relish. Done.
- Can I use the Russian dressing that’s in my fridge? Sure! If you want it smoky, stir in 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika or chipotle powder.
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For the Russian Dressing
- 1/2 cup full fat mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup smoky ketchup, I used Red Duck Smoky Ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish
- 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 3-4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Burgers
- 1 1/3 cups sauerkraut
- 1/2 pound corned beef, thinly sliced
- 8 slices marble rye or seeded rye bread
- Russian dressing
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- 12 oz ground beef
- 1/2-1 teaspoon hot sauce of your choice
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Make the Russian Dressing
- Stir or whisk all ingredients including a healthy pinch of salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors marry. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary--you may want to add a bit more relish if you want it sweeter or a touch more horseradish if you like things spicier. It may need a tiny bit more salt. It's your dressing, so make it to taste.
To Make the Burgers
- Put the sauerkraut in a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl to drain for at least 30 minutes.
- Warm the corned beef and strained sauerkraut on medium power in the microwave. Start with about 30 seconds. You want the toppings hot but not so hot that the corned beef cooks and turns gray.
- In a toaster oven or under the broiler in your oven, toast 1 side of the slices of bread. This will be the side that is on the "inside" of your burger. Spread each toasted side with 1 Tablespoon of Russian dressing.
- Place a slice of Swiss cheese on four of the pieces of bread.
- Form the ground beef into four oval shaped "meatballs." Make them roughly the same shape as the bread.
- Heat a stainless steel pan over medium high heat until very hot. Do not use non-stick. Place a burger "meatball" in the pan, and press it into a flat oval shape with the back of a large spatula. You want the burger very thin--maybe 1/4", but no more than that.
- While the burger is cooking, sprinkle it with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the burger is mostly cooked through with just a little bit of red on top.
- Use a metal spatula to scrape the burger off the pan, being careful not to tear it. Flip the burger and cook for an additional 30 seconds to a minute. Place each cooked burger on top of one of the slices of Swiss cheese. You will probably only be able to cook 1 burger at a time unless you have an enormous pan or two pans going at one time.
- Top each burger with 2 oz of the corned beef (roughly 3 thin slices). Drizzle an additional Tablespoon of Russian dressing over the hot corned beef, add another slice of Swiss cheese, and then top with 1/3 cup of sauerkraut.
- Crown each Epic Burger with another piece of bread, toasted and Russian dressing-ed side down. You can eat the burger now, or you can place it in the toaster oven and toast it lightly. Either way, you are in for some good eating.
Note I made 2 2.5 oz patties for the burger in the photo. I made some the day before and only used 1 3 oz patty. Both burgers were great, so it's totally up to you whether you want to double up or not.
Amount Per Serving Calories 934Saturated Fat 22gCholesterol 154mgSodium 1956mgCarbohydrates 42gFiber 5gSugar 9gProtein 44g
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And there you have it. My smashed Reuben burger. I have made these 3 times in two days. They never get old. Honest.
If you’d like to see all 50+ burgers from this year’s Burger Month, Kita has them all on the Burger Month page on her site. Scroll down to see the Class of 2018 as well as all the burgers from previous Burger Month Events.
Want to see my burgers from years gone by? Here you go:
And a very enormous shout out to Kita Roberts of Girl Carnivore who has made this an epic labor of love every May for the last several years. Thank you for all you do to make #BurgerMonth happen!