I’ve posted my basic bean burger recipe on Three Many Cooks before, but here’s a fun variation–perfect for a winter weekend when you want something fun but not totally decadent. It’s Rueben-style with sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and Swiss cheese.

David and I are off to Hill Country Barbecue for dinner with Maggy, Andy, and other family members tonight. After that we’re headed to Madison Square Garden for pro-bull riding. Besides going to a bullfight in southern France a few years ago, I’ve never been to anything like this before. We’ll let you know how it goes.

Have a great weekend!

Reuben Bean Burger

Makes 6 burgers

2 cans (15. 5-ounces each) pinto beans, drained, liquid reserved, 1 can left whole, 1 can fork-mashed
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon each: coarsely ground pepper and garlic powder
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared cocktail sauce
6 good quality hamburger  buns
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
6 thin slices Swiss cheese (4 1/2 ounces)
2 cups sauerkraut, drained

Mix beans, breadcrumbs, eggs, pepper, and garlic, in a medium bowl adding enough bean liquid for mixture to hold together without being wet.  Divide into 6 equal portions and flatten into 4-inch patties. Mix mayonnaise and cocktail sauce; set aside.

Warm buns in a 300-degree oven, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over strong medium heat. Add patties and cook, turning only once, until a crisp brown crust forms on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Top burgers with cheese slices, cover skillet, turn heat to low, and let burgers continue to cook until cheese melts.

Spread cut side of each roll with the sauce. Set burger on bun bottom, top with sauerkraut, cap with bun top and serve.