Chef-owners Mike Johnson & Christina Fitzgerald
Sugarfire Smoke House
Slices of corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut layered on rye and grilled—that’s the way a Reuben usually comes to the table. But at Sugarfire Smoke House, a barbecue spot in St. Louis, the owners have transformed the ingredients into a burger topped with melted Swiss and sauerkraut. A housemade “special sauce” mimics the Thousand Island dressing on the original Reuben.
1 cup sauerkraut
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup dill pickle relish
Olive oil, as needed
2 patties (4 oz. each) ground corned beef
2 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices rye or marbled rye bread
1. Prepare smoker. To prep sauerkraut, smoke at 225 F for 20 minutes.
2. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, ketchup and pickle relish; refrigerate special sauce until ready to use.
3. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat and add enough olive oil to thinly coat bottom of pan. Add corned beef patties; cook 5 minutes on one side; flip and cook 3 to 4 minutes on second side until desired doneness.
4. Towards end of cooking, top each patty with a slice of cheese; cook until cheese melts.
5. To serve, brush rye bread with melted butter and toast or grill. Top toasted bread with patties, a little smoked sauerkraut and special sauce to taste.
Photo courtesy of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association