Loose meat sandwiches with pan fried potatoes

When I was growing up my mother made a recipe similar to this that we called sloppy joes until my sister dated a guy named Joe who was decidedly not sloppy. After that we called them sloppy charlies. Years later, I got a bit tired of telling people what a sloppy charlie was and why we called it that, and we renamed the sandwich loose meat. By then, I had completely transformed my mom’s recipe, which called for canned soup, to one that calls for onions and broth. The sandwiches have become a family favorite, and as I post about them occasionally, they have also become a frequently requested recipe. They pair nicely with our simple pan fried potatoes and a steamed veggie. Enjoy!

Loose Meat Sandwiches

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T whole wheat flour
  • seasoning blend of choice (We like Northwoods from Penzey’s in this.)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Saute onion in olive oil over medium-low heat until completely caramelized, around 20 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent over browning. Add beef and cook until browned through; drain fat if needed. Stir in salt, pepper, spice blend, and flour. Let cook for a minute or so. Add the broth, bring to a boil, and let it cook uncovered until it gets very thick, again about 15 or 20 minutes. Serve warm on your favorite sandwich bun.

Pan Fried Potatoes

  • 1 or 2 large potatoes, cut lengthwise into quarters, then sliced into 1/8 inch thick slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add potatoes and salt being certain to spread them out as much as possible. Cook, without stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir, then cook again for 10 to 15 minutes without stirring. Continue this process until the potatoes reach your desired crispness. You’ll find that you need to stir a bit more frequently the longer they have cooked. Drain on a towel before serving.

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