Move over Landford Lunch Box! Anyone can make this easy and inexpensive, blast from the past, beef burger alternative. Loose Meat Sandwiches are the perfect no-fuss weeknight dinner solution!
A SITCOM STIRS UP MEMORIES OF GREAT SANDWICH!
If you were a fan of Roseanne back in the day, you must remember the popularity of the Loose Meat Sandwich. It was a specialty at Roseanne and Jackie’s diner-style restaurant, the Lanford Lunch Box. I was a huge fan of the show, so I remember the sandwich well – especially the episode with Loretta Lynn!
We didn’t watch the show when it was in syndication. Our family home didn’t acquire a television set until 1992 or somewhere thereabouts. Roseanne started airing in 1987, which meant I would have been five years behind. I did, however, watch the show in re-runs over and over and over again. I kid you not, many of the classic lines in the show I can recite from memory.
When the show was re-booted in 2018, I actually did not get to watch one single episode. I know there was some speculation that the show might not be renewed for a second season after Roseanne’s tweeted racist comments, but a quick internet search tells me that the show is returning without Roseanne. I wonder if the Lanford Lunch Box will make an appearance?
LOOSE MEAT SANDWICHES WERE QUITE COMMON
Well, I digress! Long before Jackie and Roseanne started serving greasy ground beef on burger buns to their customers, my mom made Loose Meat Sandwiches on the regular for weeknight dinners. Oftentimes, she would pan-fry ground beef with onions and serve it on buns with a slice of processed cheese and a pile of fries on the side. I’m starting to drool as I write this!
I have admitted that I was a huge fan of the TV show. And, I have watched every episode repeatedly. Still, I can’t recall whether or not the Lanford Lunch Box had cheese on their Loose Meat Sandwich. Either way, I did not include it on my version. If the ground beef is flavoured properly, you won’t need the cheese at all.
A FOODIE WITH A LIST OF RECIPE IDEAS
This was the first time I’ve made Loose Meat Sandwiches in at least ten years. So, what prompted me? I can’t remember, to be honest! There’s an app on my phone that allows me to make quick notes whenever I’m inspired by a certain food or recipe. I will often make notes about things that I want to cook for Lord Byron’s Kitchen, and in most cases, I can remember why.
But, in my app, there were just the three words listed on the one line – Loose Meat Sandwiches – no reason, no notes, nothing. Months later, I opened the app to log an idea and I decided they had to be made.
I’m so glad I did. As soon as the photographs were taken, I devoured the rest of that sandwich you see the bite missing from. The other one went to McKenna who immediately told me how delicious they were and that the sandwiches reminded her of her mother and of Newfoundland. (Her mom can work miracles with ground beef!)
If you make these, do yourself a favour and top them only with mustard, ketchup, and a few slices of sweet pickles. In my opinion, it’s the best way to eat them. You can add cheese to if you want, but trust me, you won’t need it! Enjoy!
Loose Meat Sandwiches
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon beef bouillon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 hamburger buns
- Over medium heat, place the onions, ground beef, and cooking oil in a large skillet. Break the beef apart with your spatula. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and beef are browned – about 15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir into the beef and onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add the Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon powder, salt, and ground black pepper. Stir well to combine. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes more.
- Remove from heat. Evenly distribute the cooked beef onto the bottoms of the four burger buns. Top with ketchup, mustard, and a few sweet pickles. (This is optional – you can top the sandwiches your way.) Serve with potato chips.