The city I grew up in has a restaurant called Nuway that serves a delicious loosemeat sandwich. It is similar to a sloppy joe, but it doesn’t have a tomato sauce base. We have always referred to a loosemeat sandwich as a “Nuway,” but I have also heard them called “Maid-Rites,” which is the name of a similar restaurant that began in Iowa. It’s a Midwestern thing, and everyone who grew up in the Midwest knows what I am taking about. When I was a kid, it was a treat to go to Nuway and feast on a large sandwich, homemade onion rings, and a big cold mug of root beer. When Dan and I got married and moved to Florida, I would get serious cravings for these sandwiches. Now I am not even going to pretend that these will take the place of visiting a Nuway. Their recipe is a secret, and I just don’t think it could ever be recreated at home. Some say they are just simply beef steamed with water and there is no seasoning at all. That may be true, but being the cook I am, I just can’t not add some other flavors! My family loves these, and they are super simple to make and perfect for a crowd.
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Soft Buns
- Butter for toasting buns
- Finely chopped onion
- Cheese slices, processed yellow American is traditional, but my family prefers cheddar slices
- French's yellow mustard
- Dill Pickles, sliced
- Pour beef broth into a large pan over medium high heat.
- Add the ground beef, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt and pepper.
- Cook beef, using the back of a spoon to break the meat into small pieces.
- Continue simmering beef for about 20-30 minutes until the liquid is almost gone.
- Meanwhile, while the beef is cooking, butter the buns and toast under the broiler until browned.
- Using a slotted spoon place desired amount of the beef on half of the bun.
- Top with chopped onion, cheese, yellow mustard, dill pickles, and the other half of the bun.
Linked to the following parties:
Our very own Weekend Potluck
Six Sisters’ Stuff Strut Your Stuff Saturday Link Party
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From Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts says
Trying your recipe soon! My mom made Made-Rites when I was growing up, in Northeast Iowa. I also stumbled across a recipe for “Taverns” a while back which is another variation, and the name also coming from Iowa. I have that posted on my blog if you are interested in seeing it.
Kalamity Kelli says
I remember years ago Rosanne from the TV show had a Loose Meat restaurant and I had never heard of it before. I always wondered what that was – looked like sort of a sloppy Joe to me but now I know and it looks great!
Kari Lindsay says
I too had only heard of Loose Meat sandwiches on Rosanne. Now I see the appeal, all that beef broth and seasoning must give so much flavor to the meat. My man will love this.
I found your website through Six Sister’s Link party and was so excited to see this recipe. I grew up in Wichita, Kansas and loved going to NuWay. I will definitely be making this recipe for my family.
Scott Stanley Jr. says
Lots of claims to this recipe but this is a good one. There was long a NuWay sandwich drive in on State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas. I am now 84 and remember it well, but my mother who lived to be 101 recalled the NuWay from her youth and frequently made really good ones at home. She said the original used a unique iron steamer to prepare a special mix of ground beef prepared in the basement of the shop. She never used cheese on her version but spooned the loose beef onto a bun, topped it with a small handful of chopped onion, added French’s yellow mustard to the top, and applied several slices of dill pickle before putting it on the bottom half of the sandwich. The whole was then wrapped in wax paper and allowed a few minutes to steam naturally. She did not salt it but sometimes would add a little soy sauce or Worstershire to the steaming meat.
Kim Fee says
Hello Scott. Thank you so much for your comment on my recipe. I used to make these all the time when my kids were younger. They loved them! It is such a unique recipe and I loved your story of how your mom made them. My youngest is a sophomore in college and when they are all home this holiday season I am going to make these. Thanks again for stopping by and sharing. You have reminded me how much I love these sandwiches!