These Loose Meat Sandwiches are the ones I talked about at the end of my video yesterday.
This is one of those recipes you just have to try. Martha Staton emailed me when I shared a special email address with my subscribers and asked if I had the recipe to Maid-Rite or Alley Canteen burgers like she grew up on in Iowa. But wouldn’t you know, I have never stepped foot in Iowa and had no idea what she was talking about. The way she carried on about how good they were got me to doing some research right quick like, though! I found the basic jist of the recipe and then decided what cooking method would be the best way to duplicate it, then added a little of my own seasonings.
And they were so good. Unlike anything I’ve ever had before. So good that I could see how a chain with a similar burger would become the stuff of legends. So good that after one bite my husband said “What IS THIS? This is amazing!”. So good that I made them again the following day when Mama came to visit and then she made them the following day at her house. So good that I called Jyl and started carrying on about how good they were. So the next day she just had to make them since I had gone on and on about them. Her family had the same reaction. So Jyl called her Mama and went on and on about how good they were and she had to make them the next day…
I’ve lost count of how far this chain reaction has gone between the time I first made these and got around to doing the blog post but I only mentioned them in a video a little over a week ago and I’ve made them three times myself for various and assorted people to try :).
My Mama is behind, though. She’s only made them once.
Before I even had a chance to bring it to you this recipe has already spread across my network of friends and family like a runny nose at a daycare center.
I wish I could describe this flavor to you but there isn’t anything at all that I can compare it to and it doesn’t taste like any of the ingredients added in, they just blend and meld to create a brand new flavor all their own. The one thing I would say is that they taste absolutely nothing like a sloppy joe. The closest thing I could compare them to would be something in the family of a Krystal hamburger, but they taste even better than that. It’s more like the Krystal’s older, beautiful sister who won all of the pageants and homecoming queen while Krystal sat home without even a date to the dance.
Note again: I have no idea what a Maid-Rite or Alley Canteen sandwiches taste like so I’m not saying these taste like them. I am saying they taste wonderful.
Obviously, I’m here to tell you that you need to make them. But just as important as that, you need to tell your friends and family that they need to make them, too :). Speaking of which, if you know anyone that might enjoy SouthernPlate, I would greatly appreciate it if you could send them my way. That helps me more than you could ever know and your recommendation holds more weight than any other form of advertisement.
You’ll need: Garlic Powder, Brown Sugar, Onion, Worcestershire Sauce, Soy Sauce, some variety of LEAN Ground beef, Cider Vinegar, Seasoned Salt, Accent*, Black Pepper, and 2 chicken and 2 beef bouillon cubes* (even though only one of each is pictured).
It is very important to start with a lean beef so you don’t have a lot of meat grease when cooking. All beef prices are sheer madness nowadays so there isn’t much of a difference in buying ground chuck or lean ground beef. Just don’t use regular ground beef because there will be far too much grease and you will regret it when you go to serve up these puppies.
*About Accent and Bouillon Cubes – I have been made aware on many occasions that some folks equate using these ingredients to building a playground next to a nuclear reactor while it is experiencing a complete meltdown. If you don’t want to use these, don’t. I would substitute salt for the Accent and just go rogue and substitute what you’d like in place of the bouillon cubes, you’re on your own there because I wouldn’t use anything else.
And you need some of these because they are the absolute perfect vessel for our loose meat sandwiches.
It is very important that you use Hawaiian sweet rolls for this. If you use a regular hamburger bun, it’s going to fall to pieces and be a big old mess, plus it won’t have that flavor in the bun that these rolls have.
Jyl’s stubborn daughter (waves and smiles to Erin) didn’t believe me and insisted on trying it on a bun. After that, she had one on a Hawaiian roll like I told her to in the first place and admitted that it was an entirely different experience.
Chop up your onions kindly fine.
I know, my onions are not chopped fine but this is about as far as I get before my brain is ready to move onto the next step.
Finely chopped is a relative phrase.
Add onions and beef to a large skillet. Pour in water.
What? Pour in water?
Yes, pour in water. Trust me on this.
Now start mooshing up the ground beef with the water. You’ll notice that with the added water the ground beef gets really, really fine. That is what we want. This is how we make hot dog chili and it is perfect for this meat as well. You’re going to end up with very fine granules of tender beef and the water cooks out.
You want to put that over medium high heat and cook it until the meat is done and there is no more pinkness.
It will get done pretty quick in this case because all of that water is cooking it at the same time the heat is.
Now add everything else.
Return this to the stovetop and stir it really, really well. Cook over medium to medium high heat, stirring often, until the liquid cooks down as pictured below. This part may will take anywhere from ten to twenty minutes. Just find something to read and hang out around the stove.
Or even better, let your kids do this part while you go put your feet up.
This is our finished loose meat, all ready for sandwiches.
Using a spoon, strain out some of the meat and press it into a pile on top of the center of a cut Hawaiian Sweet Roll.
They are absolutely sublime when topped with mustard.
One of my daughters friend had one and insisted on hot sauce and said the same thing about hot sauce.
My son claims they are crowned best with ketchup.
My husband insists that purity is best and has them as they are, nothing added, just on the roll.
Katy likes them best that way, too, as long as I pick the pieces of “potato” out of them.
No, there aren’t any potatoes in them but if I told her that was onions she wouldn’t have tried them so we go with potato. Besides, she called it a potato first. All I did was nod.
Either way, this is one of those recipes your family is going to remember and talk about for generations to come.
“My Grandma/Mama/Dad/Uncle/Sister/Neighbor/Pastor’s Wife made the best loose meat sandwiches and *I* have his/her recipe…”
So down below, there is a “print” button. Hit that and print this puppy off. Then, if you’re so inclined, share the link to this post on your Facebook or Pin it to your Pinterest or email the link to your friends. There are actually some little buttons at the bottom of the post you can click on for the Facebook, pinterest, twitter, or google plus thing. Just click on whichever one you want and it will open up a little window to make it easy for ya.
I appreciate you coming to visit me today and every day that you do. I would sure appreciate it if you’d invite your friends to join us, too!
Christy Jordan, the loose meat sandwich lover
- 3 pounds LEAN ground beef
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 whole onion finely chopped
- 1 +1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon accent *see note in post under ingredients
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3 to 4 cups water
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 2 chicken boullion cubes
- Put beef and onion in large skillet along with water. Chop up beef really really fine while bringing it to a low boil over medium high heat. Cook, stirring and chopping often, until no longer pink.
- Add everything else and continue lightly boiling, stirring often, until water is cooked down and mixture gets thick.
- Strain beef out and press small mounds of beef onto cut hawaiian sweet rolls. Top with your choice of condiments. Mustard is highly recommended :).
- Makes enough for 24 little sandwiches, which is one pack of Hawaiian rolls. Leftovers freeze well.
“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
~Louisa May Alcott in Little WomenYum