Thursday, March 19, 2020

Baked Reuben Casserole

A casserole of cubed rye bread, shredded corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese finished with a savory egg custard.
A casserole of cubed rye bread, shredded corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese finished with a savory egg custard.

Baked Reuben Casserole

I know that some of you make a New England Boiled Dinner of cabbage, root vegetables and a full corned beef brisket for holidays like St. Patrick's Day, but I'm a cheater. The Cajun doesn't care much for any of that stuff, so I take a shortcut to get the corned beef and cabbage I want, and he eats leftovers. I've been making it that way for years, using shredded deli corned beef or the canned stuff, and I love it, so it suits me just fine.

That said, I'm guessing some of you have been consuming Reuben sandwiches from the St. Patrick's Day leftovers, something that I also enjoy occasionally, but my husband can also do without. This casserole is yet another way to use some of that leftover corned beef. Almost a strata, except that it's tossed instead of layered, and sometimes referred to as a savory bread pudding, it's apparently a pretty common recipe around the net, though I hadn't made it myself before. The recipe that I patterned it after is from the Taste of Home cookbook, 201 Recipes You'll Make Forever. {affil link}

The Cajun doesn't like rye bread, corned beef or cabbage, never mind sauerkraut, so I knew that I'd be the one mainly eating it, but y'all... I about fell out the chair when he ate it. Course, in all fairness, I did not tell him what all was in it, other than the corned beef, since he was with me when I bought it."Here, have a small taste," I said, "and if you like it, I'll cut off a full square." So he did, he liked it and he ate a bigger square. I did not give any details!

Anyway, it has the basic makings of a reuben sandwich, and carries over a bit of the flavor, though I did notice that the leftovers were even better, so this is one dish that you can make ahead and easily reheat on a medium setting in the microwave, a serving at a time. I really enjoyed this, so I'd say if you like a reuben sandwich, you'll probably like this casserole.

Here's how to make it, and as always just swipe or scroll past the step by step pictures for the full recipe text, including exact measurements and instructions, and a printable document.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 11 x 7 inch casserole dish. Add cubed bread and drizzle with melted butter, toss and add sauerkraut, corned beef and 1/2 cup of the cheese; toss again. If you prefer a less strong sauerkraut flavor, you probably won't like this to begin with, but that aside, drain and rinse it. Baked ham, pastrami or cooked, crumbled bacon may also be substituted for the corned beef.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, dressing, mustard, pepper and yes, I added some Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning, for a little kick. (Remember, it's like an all-purpose seasoning around here!) Pour over casserole and top with 1/2 cup of the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of casserole, comes out clean. Top with remaining cheese and return to oven for 3 to 4 minutes longer, or until cheese has melted. Let casserole rest about 10 minutes before cutting into squares.


Dig in!


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Recipe: Baked Reuben Casserole

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 45 min

Total time: 55 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 6 slices rye bread, any style, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, well-drained (do not rinse)
  • 1/2 pound cooked corned beef, shredded or chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup homemade or prepared Thousand Island salad dressing
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Creole or spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, or to taste, optional
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 11 x 7 inch casserole dish. Add cubed bread and drizzle with melted butter, toss and add sauerkraut, corned beef and 1/2 cup of the cheese; toss again.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, dressing, mustard, pepper and Creole/Cajun seasoning. Pour over casserole and top with 1/2 cup of the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of casserole, comes out clean. Top with remaining cheese and return to oven for 3 to 4 minutes longer, or until cheese has melted. Let casserole rest about 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Cook's Notes: Do not add salt as there is plenty present in the corned beef and the sauerkraut. If you prefer a less strong sauerkraut flavor, drain and rinse it. Baked ham, pastrami or cooked, crumbled bacon may also be substituted for the corned beef. Cold ingredients will make for a longer cook time, so allow the ingredients time to come to room temperature. Reheats nicely by the serving in the microwave on medium.

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