Goettafest Reuben-burgers with Baby Swiss on Artisan Rye

Pairs well with:


Reach for our Chardonnay when you’re in the mood for a rich and creamy wine that delights with the fruity flair of pear, apple, and peach.

Like many others in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area, I am of German heritage.My mother’s reubin, traditionally made with corned beef, was one of the family favorites. Like the reubin, German goetta has played a large part in my life since I was a child. The wide-reaching interest in goetta has sparked a northern Kentucky festival called Goettafest. Every year, thousands of enthusiastic Goettafans of all ages, attend Goettafest and taste over 30, different Goetta dishes….such as the reubin-burger, where I tasted my first!!


1 pound ground pork
1 lb. Original Goetta (i.e. Glier’s)
half medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 and half teaspoon crushed bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground sage
one third teaspoon salt
one half teaspoon pepper

1000 Island Dressing
one third cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons bottled chili sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
one quarter teaspoon salt

1 and half cups shredded sauerkraut, lightly drained Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
12 slices (1-inch) Artisan Rye Bread
4 tablespoons whipped butter, softened
6 slices Baby Swiss Cheese


Make patties by blending pork, goetta, onion, garlic, bay, sage, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Press mixture into medium (i.e. 9x5x3″) loaf pan so meat holds rectangular shape of pan. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes to firm.

Make dressing by combining mayonnaise, chili sauce, ketchup, relish, and salt in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

Stirring occasionally, place sauerkraut in small saucepan on grill for several minutes to warm. Using a knife, slice goetta mixture in loaf pan into 6 equal sized square patties. Place patties on lightly oiled grill rack, cover, and cook, turning once until done, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. During the last few minutes of cooking, spread each slice of rye with 1 teaspoon butter and place rye, buttered side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, place each patty on non-toasted side of rye. Top with Baby Swiss cheese. Cover with equal portion of sauerkraut and a dollop of 1000 Island dressing. Top with second piece of rye and serve with extra dressing on the side. Makes 6 burgers.