by Nancy Silverton of La Brea Bakery

For the Russian Dressing
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 drop Tabasco sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • A few drops fresh lemon juice to taste
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 cornichons or gherkins finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Place the egg in a small saucepan with water to cover.
  2. Bring it to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to a low simmer.
  3. Simmer the egg 7 minutes, and immediately plunge it into a bowl of ice water to chill.
  4. Peel the egg, and separate the yolk from the white.
  5. Chop each separately into very small pieces.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, chopped egg, onion, parsley, cornichons, and salt. Adjust the seasonings, to taste. 
For the Coleslaw
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon American yellow mustard
  • 2 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded to equal 2 cups
  1. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, crème fraiche, vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, and Tabasco.
  2. Add the sugar, salt, celery seed, and pepper, and stir to combine the ingredients.
  3. Add the cabbage, toss to combine, and chill until ready to use.
To Assemble the Sandwich
  • 8 slices seeded rye loaf
  • 1 pound pastrami, preferably hand-cut
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, sliced into 12 - 16 slices that are 1/16 inch thick
  1. Set half of the bread slices buttered side down, and spread two tablespoons of the Russian dressing to cover.
  2. Pile the pastrami over and top with cheese.
  3. Place the top slice of bread over the cheese and grill the sandwiches in a moderately hot skillet until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  4. Cut the Reubens in half on the diagonal, and serve with a side of creamy coleslaw and any leftover Russian dressing.
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