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Grilled Rachel sandwich with pastrami and coleslaw, sister to Reubens

Tamer, gentler Reuben

Can’t talk about Reubens without including Rachels. Rumor has it that the softer, gentler ‘feminine’ version of a Reuben came about because of those who are adverse to sauerkraut. I don’t know if this is true or an old wives tale but I love both versions. And the thing is, a lot of these people really like pickles so if we called sauerkraut pickled cabbage, do ya think it would make a difference? I like both Reubens and Rachels but my favorite by a half-length is a Reuben.
Rachel-SandwichI make my own coleslaw because cabbage is cheap and I always have the sauce ingredients in my fridge. It’s faster to purchase a bag of coleslaw mix but not by much. I buy a head of cabbage because I like to get one that has a few good leaves on the outside that are the color of pine trees. When you shred these leaves along with the lighter leaves and add shredded carrot to the party you wind up with festive confetti style coleslaw. And here is a formula for the coleslaw sauce: 4 parts mayo, 3 parts sugar, 2 parts vinegar. Now for the Rachel recipe.

Recipe: Rachel

Prep Time: 7 Minutes | Cook Time: 7-8 Minutes | Yield: 4 Sandwiches | Level: Easy


  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp sweet pickle relish
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 8 thin slices Swiss cheese
  • ½-3/4 lb sliced pastrami
  • coleslaw
  • butter

1 Combine the mayo, ketchup and relish.

2 Lay out 2 slices of rye bread. Spread the sauce on each slice and lay Swiss on each slice. The cheese on both sides acts as the glue to meld it together.

3 On one side, pile pastrami over the cheese. Top the meat with a thick layer of coleslaw then put the other slice of bread and cheese on top. This will be a thick sandwich and worth every layer.

4 Spread both the top and bottom with


5 In a heated grill or fry pan on medium low, grill the sandwich. Place a heat proof lid over the sandwich to hold the heat in and melt the cheese. Once it is golden brown, turn over and brown the other side. Serve hot.

Lid – Covering the sandwiches is a trick that short order cooks use to shorten the cooking time and also ensure the contained heat melts the cheese before the bread gets too dark.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange pastrami for corned beef.
  • Exchange coleslaw for sauerkraut.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 12, 2012

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10 Responses to Rachels

  1. llcall April 30, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    I had never heard of a “Rachel”…oh, but I love me a good Reuben — it’s been ages since I’ve had one! I think the last was in NYC at the Carnegie Deli while I was still living in DC!

  2. Elba September 20, 2011 at 3:17 am #

    Sorry my english, but this is great site, I wil add to my favorites.

  3. Replica Burberry Scarf September 20, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    I must know where you got your layout from im trying to start my own blog and yours is the coolest.

  4. helenhorton September 21, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I have the Canvas theme from WooThemes. It’s great!

  5. Cedric Pichard November 1, 2011 at 3:26 am #

    Just discovered this site thru Google, what a way to brighten up my month!

  6. helenhorton May 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Thanks, I’m glad you enjoy it.

  7. helenhorton June 4, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    I love this theme and I am having fun with the colors. Thanks so much for visiting.

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