I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Loose Meat Sandwiches

Our man in the field in Ledyard has been travelling around the state sampling loose meat sandwiches. He went to a little cafe that is selling something called "crumble burgers" like mad. People pack the place at lunch and the phone is ringing off the hook for take out orders. From his description, the "crumbleburger" is very similar to a Maid Rite.

Astute readers may remember that I did a ton of research on Maid Rites and came up with a method. You can see all of that information in thispost. A Maid Rite is not to be confused with a Sloppy Joe. There must be a billion versions of the Sloppy Joe. The main differences between a Sloppy Joe and a Maid Rite is that the Sloppy Joe usually has some sort of sauce. I have been making my own version lately. You can see the one I make most frequently in this post.

Here is a sloppy Joe:

And here is a Maid Rite - notice the lack of sauce!

One thing about loose meat sandwiches that makes them attractive to school lunch programs is that the meat can be of the cheapest possible quality and can be cut with fillers like rice. The other thing about loose meat sandwiches is that they are very very very inexpensive to manufacture in large batches. This can be done by almost anyone. As a result I ate a lot of loose meat sandwiches in the public school system in Iowa.

Here is a version that my mom made all the time when we were growing up. She called them Maid Rites but clearly these are more related to a Sloppy Joe. I like this version because it is different from just about any other recipe for a Sloppy Joe. Instead of being tomato based and sweet, these are more tangy.

Loose Meat Sandwiches

1 pound hamburger
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 good squirts of plain yellow mustard (about 3 T)
1 T steak sauce, your choice
1 T Worchestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 can cream of mushroom soup + 1 can water
1/4 cup minute rice

Brown hamburger and saute onions. When this is done, add all of the rest of the ingredients, cover, and simmer until flavors are well combined. You can also do this in a crock pot by just browning the hamburger and onion and dumping everything into the crock pot. In a crock pot you can cook it as long as you like. I made some today that were in the crock pot on Hi for about 4 1/2 hours.