Crock Pot Iowa Maid-Rites | Debbie’s Midwestern Kitchen
Loose meat sandwich.
If you know what this is, you must be from the Midwest. Here in Iowa there’s nothing like a loose-meat sandwich, or Maid-Rite, as many of us grew up calling them. This delicious sandwich with messy meat spilling over the edges of the bun is a staple for many Iowa meals.
The Maid-Rite sandwich was popularized in 1926 by a man named Fred Angell. He began franchising the idea and a chain of restaurants called Maid-Rite began spreading throughout Iowa. Today, one of the few original stores remains in Marshalltown, Iowa: Taylor’s Maid-Rite. Several new stores have sprung up over the years and have been protected through the franchise, but Taylor’s is one of the originals and a favorite of many longtime Maid-Rite fans.
I have vivid memories of Taylor in Marshalltown. I played softball in high school and our coach was a huge fan of Taylor’s Maid-Rites. Every time we went to Marshalltown to play a game, we would drop off the freshmen and JV and our coach and college team players would head to Taylor’s to enjoy a delicious and delicious loose meat sandwich. That tells you how much he, along with many others, love these sandwiches!
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I have a bit of an obsession with ketchup and eat it in many more things than I should. To my surprise, every time we walked into Taylor’s there was no ketchup on the counters. The only way to get ketchup was to ask, and usually the workers gave me a hard time ordering a bottle. The traditional Iowa way of eating a Maid-Rite is with onions, pickles and mustard. The story goes that when Maid-Rite restaurants first opened, homeless people would come in and steal the ketchup bottles that were on the counters to make tomato soup. Bottles of ketchup were quickly rejected from restaurants. Most long-time Maid-Rite consumers turn their noses to ketchup saying it ruins the consistency of the meat and makes the Maid-Rite look more like a careless joe. I’ve heard that Taylor’s now has ketchup on its counters, but many longtime customers have sometimes been known to ask waiters to remove bottles from the place where they’re sitting 🙂
. Growing up, we ate maid rites all the time, whether it was at the actual sandwich shop (we were lucky enough to have one in Mason City), my mom doing her own version, or at the local fairgrounds during our county fair. They all seemed to have loose meat sandwiches. Every time I smell a Maid-Rite, it instantly transports me back to my childhood.
Here is an easy recipe for Crock Pot Maid-Rite that we have enjoyed in our home. I’ve even learned to enjoy them without ketchup, using the traditional seasonings of mustard, onion and pickles 🙂. It is easy to put together and the clay pot takes care of the rest. You’ll feel like you’ve taken a trip to an authentic Maid-Rite store here in Iowa!
Here’s what you’ll need on your shopping list:
** This recipe is enough to serve 6-8 people. I give a fairly generous portion in large, freshly made bakery buns, so we only get about 6 servings, but if you use smaller buns, you could serve quite a few more people**
3 pounds ground beef
small onion, chopped
1 cube beef broth 1
cube chicken broth 1 1
2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons
vinegar 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon soy
Large burger Buns
Add the first nine ingredients to the clay pot. Stir to combine the ingredients and break the ground beef.
Cook high for 4 hours. Stir occasionally to combine ingredients while cooking and to prevent meat from clumping together. The smell that emerges from the clay pot every time you stir it is to die for!
Serve on hamburger buns… Don’t be shy, the messier it is, the more authentic the sandwich! Serve with seasonings of your choice, but remember that traditional seasonings are pickles and mustard, which I highly recommend.