The Midwest has enjoyed loose meat sandwiches since the 1920s. Maid-Rite served the first one in Iowa in 1926 and our family favorite diner in Ottumwa, IA, Canteen Lunch In The Alley, is still serving them today. They were made famous the country over by Roseanne Barr. Not only is this not a new concept or recipe, there are so many different recipes for loose meat sandwiches that you could get lost in google links for days! So what I’m highlighting here is that this is a kid-friendly, kid-approved meal. This is one of ChefBoy’s favorite meals!
I laid out a package of hamburger this afternoon but wasn’t sure what I was in the mood to cook with it (this is where menu planning often fails me!) and so ignored it for hours! Suddenly, everyone was hungry. So I asked ChefBoy if he would walk down to the convenience store and pick up a package of hamburger buns while I started some loose meat sandwich meat. He said, and I quote, “If you’ll drive me down there, I’ll cook it.” Ummm… I grabbed the keys quickly… before he could change his mind! Of course we had to pick up some chocolate ice cream to make chocolate shakes with, and barbeque chips!
ChefBoy put the 1.25 pounds of hamburger on to cook…
threw in dried onion and garlic and seasoned with seasoned salt. It took him right at about five minutes. He also drained it (after he found where I moved the colander to). I was first in line (as I only am when I’m not the one cooking) and prepared my plate.
I used barbeque sauce because that’s what I was in the mood for. I think Clint used Miracle Whip and ChefBoy BBQ sauce as well. At Canteen, you can have mustard or ketchup; and then you can have cheese (which is like cheeze whiz), onions, pickles, and extra salt. You can order any combination, but those are your only options. And still, people flock there from all over the world! Now I have no idea what their recipe is, I think it has mustard and vinegar in it, but the point here is that it doesn’t really matter. If you make the meat your way, you’re gonna love it!
We had lettuce, tomato, pickles, fresh onions and other stuff we would normally put on a burger, but none of us chose to. These are just awesome the way they are! Let your kids and/or family and friends decide for themselves what they want to top them with! The loose meat sandwiches you get at the Canteen are also very, very greasy! That’s a lot of the appeal. They wrap the sandwich in wax paper to serve it. We choose to drain our meat, but that’s because we still try to eat 80% healthy so the other 20% can be oh so bad for us!
I scooped my meat on my bun and yes, it looks like a sloppy joe without the sloppy joe sauce!
Then I piled my plate with BBQ flavored chips and made myself a chocolate shake. Eating out at home!!
P.S. In case you’re wondering, I scoop up the fallen meat with my chips!!! I have the cleanest plate in the house LOL