Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A simple sandwich, no stumps needed

Iowa-Style Loosemeat Sandwiches
American Sandwich Copyright 2004

1 pound twice-ground beef I used the regular grind
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
1 (12-ounce) can or bottle of beer (do not use light beer)

In a medium frying pan, brown the beef over medium-high heat, then drain it in a colander. Return beef to the pan and stir in the onion flakes, pepper, salt, sugar, mustard, and beer. Simmer, partially covered, over medium heat until liquid is evaporated, about 30 minutes.

4 hamburger buns I used whole-wheat buns
fresh onion, chopped
prepared yellow mustard

Spoon beef into buns and serve immediately with condiments. Be sure to give everyone a spoon so they can scoop up any stray beef that escapes.

Yield: 4 sandwiches

This week is all about convenience and nothing seemed simpler than these loosemeat sandwiches. I've never had a loosemeat sandwich before so I have no idea how authentic these were but they were good. The meat mixture was more understated than the 'barbecue' sandwiches that are the typical ground beef sandwich of this area, but the condiments added punch.

I got this cookbook from the library and it's actually quite nice, for a cookbook with a schtick. The book includes one sandwich for every state. I actually flipped to Iowa expecting to see the pork tenderloin sandwich, but Indiana claimed the pork sandwich.

The book also contains the anecdotal history of the sandwiches in it. For instance, the pork tenderloin sandwiches were supposedly originally made by a guy who had most of his fingers cut off in an accident, and the stumps were perfect from tenderizing the meat. I know, I know, your mouth is watering now, isn't it?

Blast From the Past: Barbecue from September 2005. This is how we make our loosemeat sandwiches 'round here.

Question of the Day: If you live in the U.S., can you guess what your state's sandwich is, according to this cookbook?


Anonymous said...

This sandwich makes me think of Roseanne - remember they sold loose meat sandwiches on the show?

I don't know what NJ's sandwich is, but it should be Taylor Ham - seems like it's only known in Jersey. Nothing's better than Taylor Ham, egg and cheese on a soft roll in a diner at 3 am!! :)

Anonymous said...

Texas - I'd guess sliced barbecued brisket. Or...I think it could be interpreted as a sandwich...a taco or burrito.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm...maybe pulled pork BBQ or a fried chicken sandwich for MS? I wish it was a BLT but I doubt it. Are you going to tell us what they are? :-)

Anonymous said...

my boyfriend would love that sandwich - so easy too.

In CT - I would say maybe a turkey with cranberry chutney or something.. haha - who knows.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Yes, Claire, I'll tell you what the sandwiches are tonight, when I have the book in front of me again.

I know at least one person has guessed correctly.

Anonymous said...

that looks disgusting

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your site for a couple months, first time commenter, though.

Both of my parents grew up in Iowa, and I can remember visiting my grandparents when I was younger and going to get maid rite (a restaurant that made loose meat sandwiches, people called them maid rites instead of loose meat) with pickles and mustard!

I'm from the Chicago area, and I'd have to guess Italian beef for that. I'm in Ohio now, but haven't really been here long enough to pick up a classic sandwich. Maybe something with that disgusting Cincinnati-style chili.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog--I check here just about every day for supper inspiration. I am from LA and I would guess the sandwich for LA is the muffaletta. I just moved to NC from PA and I think the NC sandwich is pulled pork. Thanks for the meal inspirations--my family appreciates it too. Sheila

Jennifer said...

I'm in Texas too and I agree with Jan...barbecue brisket. In fact, I had one for lunch today.

I grew up in Utah, so I'm interested in what sandwich is tops there. Let's see....I'm guessing PB and J, grilled cheese, or something with jello in it. (Utah: more Jello consumed per capita than anywhere else in the U.S.)

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Okay, here they are:

New Jersey- Pork Roll (Taylor Ham)
Texas- Pan-Fried Sirloin (Chicken Fried Steak)
Mississippi-Ajax Diner's Fried Catfish Po-Boy
Connecticut-Rolled Cobb Sandwich
Illinois-Pat Bruno's Italian Beef Sandwich
Ohio-The Hippo
Louisiana- The Muffaletta
North Carolina-Garlic Parmesan Deli Hoagie
Utah- The Caputo (Alabama actually claimed the PB&J Cristo)

So, are these good representations or not? PA is the Philly Cheesesteak and I can't really argue with that.

Anonymous said...

Catfish po-boy is okay...the fried catfish is acurate but I don't know that that many po-boys are made in homes...just the catfish!

Jennifer said...

Okay...I'm so calling foul on the Cupato sandwich from Utah! The dude that owns the deli has only been in business since 1998. There is no history to that sandwich. I'm calling for a recount or something....they should have picked Hires or Crown Burger....bah...dumb book!

Heather said...

My mom makes these all the time. She grew up in Council Bluffs Iowa and there was a shop there called Maid Rite (or some spelling of that).
I would say Nebraska would be either the Rueben or the Runza.

Wanda said...

Hmmm... a chicken fried steak sandwich for Texas? I've never had one or even noticed them on a menu...unless the Dairy Queen version of a burger with a CF pattie counts. I agree with the others - it should be a BBQ brisket sandwich.

And Megan - me too! Loose meat sandwich = Jackie and Roseanne's diner.

Anonymous said...

Loosemeat is definitely Iowa from what I can tell. Iowans also go crazy for the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich as well, but I think it may have originated in Huntington, IN at Nick's Kitchen circa 1908 (well documented) unless someone can come up with better. I'm doing my best to document breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches at


Anonymous said...

They are definately made similar to a maidrite. The maid rite sandwiches are very popular in like Muscatine Iowa as well as Council Bluffs the smaller towns.

They are excellent a must have when we go back to visit relatives in Iowa.
Sally Knight Davenport IA Gal.

SJerZGirl said...

I grew up in New Jersey and had never heard of Pork Roll until I lived away for 19 years and moved back. My mother has never had pork roll either and her family has been here since the 1600s. I can't imagine that being the state sandwich. And, I lived in Utah for 17 years and have never heard of a Caputo. What kind of sandwich is that? But, I do agree - Utah is the Jello capital of the world!

bookermom said...

In Greenville Ohio there is a Maid-Rite place with these sandwiches. The secret is finely chopped burger, simmered for a long time to absorb the flavors, steamed buns, and boy they go down quick. The pickles, onions and mustard are essential as well.