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Saveur Recipe for Iowa Loosemeat Sandwiches

Monday's Leftovers: Loosemeat Sandwiches

If you don't hail from Iowa, there's a high chance you've never heard of loosemeat sandwiches, a regional specialty that's said to have originated in Sioux City, IA in 1924. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't get to know these close relatives of sloppy joe sandwiches. Use leftover ground beef to form a crumbly, seasoned filling to go between pillowy, sweet hamburger buns. Customize the rest of your meal with condiments, cheese, and vegetables of your choice. To try your hand at loosemeat sandwiches, all you have to do is


Loosemeat Sandwiches

Loosemeat Sandwiches

Saveur Recipe for Iowa Loosemeat Sandwiches


2 lbs. ground beef
1 1⁄2 cups Chicken Stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 soft hamburger buns
1 onion, peeled and chopped


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add ground beef, and cook, breaking up meat with the back of a spoon, until meat begins to fry, 12–15 minutes. Drain meat in a colander, then return it to the skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken stock, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed and meat is well browned, 15–20 minutes.
  3. Divide meat between hamburger bun bottoms, spoon some onion on each, and put other bun half on top.

Serves 8.

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Join The Conversation
brightongirl brightongirl 6 years
Actually are good. I would add cheese, because cheese makes everything better.
emalove emalove 6 years
I'll pass.
thinnermom thinnermom 6 years
sounds good, i will try it with ground deer meat to make less cals.
spacebear spacebear 6 years
i remember then from Roseanne!
PirateKitty PirateKitty 6 years
Brigand Brigand 6 years
I am actually from Sioux City - and despite their name, they are delicious! If you feel like it, try mixing in some peppers, cheese or spices.
KJS916 KJS916 6 years
Mmm my mom used to make these when I was a kid...but we're from Chicago so my friends thought it was nuts.
verily verily 6 years
So sloppy joes without the sloppy? Looks tasty, but would need a bit of dressing up with some lettuce, tomato, and cheese (I'm thinking tacos with a bun).
aimeeb aimeeb 6 years
weffie weffie 6 years
lilkimbo, that was my first thought too--The Landford Lunchbox!
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 6 years
These *look* delicious, but I think the name could use some rebranding...
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 6 years
These are droolworthy! :drool: Wonderful comfort food!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
I didn't know they were from Iowa, but anyone who watched Roseanne should have at least heard of loose meat sandwiches!
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