When Matt Wilkinson’s Brunswick East cafe Pope Joan opened eight years ago, it was at the forefront of a movement to apply the rigour of fine dining to cafe kitchens.

Wilkinson’s ethos – which focuses on locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients – was developed during his stint as head chef at St Kilda’s Circa during that restaurant’s fine-diner glory days.

But sadly, Pope Joan closed in june to make way for a seven-storey apartment block. As a parting gift Wilkinson has shared the recipe for one of the most popular dishes on its menu, the Reuben Sandwich, with Broadsheet.

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The Reuben
Serves 2

4 thick slices of fresh seeded bread (Pope Joan uses La Madre seeded loaf)
2 tbsp Russian mayo (see below)
120g or 4–6 slices pastrami (Pope Joan uses Warialda Beef)
4 slices smoked mozzarella, emmental or cheddar cheese (Pope Joan uses That’s Amore smoked mozzarella)
2 tbsp pickled red cabbage or sauerkraut (Pope Joan uses The Fermentary’s red kraut)

Russian Mayo
200g mayo
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Small of pinch smoked paprika
¼ tsp horseradish paste, horseradish cream or mustard (optional)
Juice of ¼ lemon
Pinch of salt flakes

For the Russian mayo, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.

Lay the bread slices down on a board and spread generously with the Russian mayo.

Top two of the bread slices with the pastrami slices, cheese and pickled cabbage, then lay over the remaining bread slices and sandwich together.

Butter the outside of both slices of bread.

Transfer the sandwiches to a toasted sandwich press or a lightly oiled pan and cook for 6–8 minutes until golden and crunchy, pressing down lightly with a spatula and turning halfway through if cooking in the pan.

This article was updated on September 6, 2018.