Loose Meat Sandwiches

So, if you’re all like ‘loose…whaaat?’ Then I’m with ya. That was my first response when I saw it a while back on Pinterest. Being the Southern gal I am, loose meat is not something I’ve heard of or eaten before, and honestly, it doesn’t sound all that appetizing. But neither does Dump Cake or White Trash Mix and those are the bomb. Apparently loose meat is a mid-western thing. I was curious and decided to give it a try.

loose meat prep

Basically, it’s ground beef, simmered in water, broth and seasonings until the water cooks out and the meat is left very flavorful.  It kind of looks like a Sloppy Joe, but does not taste like one. It is somewhat reminiscent of Cincinnati Chili in the seasonings used and cooking technique, but without the tomato base. In other words…it’s unique and you just need to try it!

loose meat sandwiches

The best thing of all is that my kids liked it. ALL THREE of them. That in itself is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

little man loves loose meat

Even more incredible is that my 7 year old, who eats very little meat, LOVED it. He ate two the first night, and ate leftovers on two other occasions. I was thrilled to get some meat in that kid. Don’t be jealous over my ‘fine china’. And please ignore my son’s lack of clothing. Dressing for dinner is optional around here. Dressing at all is optional in his opinion. Ahhh, to be 7. And have no body fat.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:10]

Recipe Source: Southern Plate

A sturdy roll/bun is recommended otherwise it’s going to get soggy & fall apart. I’m not a fan of soggy bread, so I made sure to cook my beef until almost all of the water was gone. You can leave some “juice” and strain the beef out if you would rather. The bun will soak up some of that broth and I’m sure is pretty good that way too. I used the new King’s Hawaiian Hamburger Buns. Traditionally, loose meat is served with pickles and mustard, which I liked. My son opted for ketchup….which he puts on pretty much everything.

So what about you? Familiar with loose meat? I love discovering & learning about popular regional foods.

 

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Cincinnati Chili

I’ll be honest.  I’m a born and bred Southern girl, and never had I heard of putting chili on spaghetti.  You put spaghetti sauce on spaghetti.  Or, if you are feeling fancy, maybe some white sauce, but not chili.  So, when Biz from My Bizzy Kitchen started talking about ‘Chili Mac‘, I was intrigued.  When she said, chili with no beans, I was sold.  I wanted to give her Cincinnati Chili a try.  And yes, Biz, I went and put green onions all over it 😉

Cincinnati Chili 

  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey (or ground beef)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and cook onions until softened. 
  2. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, salt and pepper, cooking until fragrant (just a minute or two). Add ground turkey, breaking it up into small pieces. *I cooked my turkey until almost done before adding in #3, however, for traditional Cincinnati chili, ground beef (or in my case, turkey) is supposed to cook in the boiling broth.
  3. Stir in chicken broth, tomato sauce, and vinegar.
  4. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chili is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
To serve – Can be served over spaghetti, with toppings of choice.  
According to ‘What’s Cooking America‘….
Cincinnati chili lovers order their chili by number. Two, Three, Four, or Five Way.”

Two-Way Chili:   Chili served on spaghetti
Three-Way Chili:   Additionally topped with shredded Cheddar cheese
Four-Way Chili:   Additionally topped with chopped onions
Five-Way Chili:   Additionally topped with kidney beans

Verdict? This was delicious.  A little different than what I am used to, but delicious all the same.  This is why I love reading food blogs! You learn so much about how others view food, what their traditions are, and about how different regions have their own ‘specialties’. I don’t think about foods varying very much just from state to state, but they do.  Plus, I wasn’t exposed to much more than meat and potatoes growing up! I guess Eastern NC is known for their BBQ (pork, of course).  Not sure what else?!
What foods are most popular where you live?  Feel free to leave links, recipes, etc!