Loose Meat Sandwiches


Kristin Devine

Kristin is a geek, a libertarian, and a domestic goddess. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals and works with women around the world as a fertility counselor. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of https://atomicfeminist.com/

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30 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    There are no loose-meat sandwiches that are not improved by putting the filling in a thin closed pastry shell, baking, and serving hot. No longer a sandwich, technically, but still worth doing.Report

    • Avatar atomickristin says:

      Oh yeah I have those on my list – bierocks, runzas! Can’t wait to try them! Thanks!Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Meat hand pies are a whole different thing from sandwiches. Most places in the world have one or more regional variations. Cornish “pasties” appeared in literature as early as the 12th century.Report

        • Avatar atomickristin says:

          My dad raves about pasties (that sounded really wrong LOL) but yes that’s definitely something I haven’t ever tried making and should.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            We vacationed on the U.P. of Michigan this summer. Pasties everywhere. It’s basically the official food of the U.P. Awesome, filling meal. Like Cornwall, it’s a mining area so they were something easy miners could take with them for lunch.Report

            • Avatar atomickristin says:

              I am apparently operating under some totally different meaning of the word “pasties”.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                There are the pasties that certain kinds of performing artists use to barely conceal the absolute minimum parts of their anatomy necessary to provide bare compliance with a variety of noisome regulations of questionable constitutionality intended by busybodies in local government to drive their employers out of business. I’ve heard tell that sometimes these … garments? … are adorned with tassels and other sorts of amusing decorations. Were this not a family website I’d assume we’re all adults and I would provide a link to a visual aid, but I’m wary of what the linkage behind the scenes might do to the site’s meta-analysis by various search engine surveys.

                Our man @mike-dwyer is not referring to those.

                In the upper Midwest, a “pasty,” alternatively spelled “pastie,” is a slang term for a “stuffed pastry.” I’ve not a clue of the etymological metamorphosis that led to the convergence in lexicology with the aforementioned garb, but there it is. To get a genuine MN-WI-UP pasty, start with a couple of things one might put in a sandwich or some other meal — ham and cheese, say — and wrap it in a few layers of delicious, light, buttery pastry, and bake it until it rises and browns. You can certainly use your favorite condiments and/or sauces whether savory or sweet by preference, either incorporated into the filling or applied post facto upon the cooked product during service, though if you’ve got good pastry dough I don’t feel it’s often necessary as the butter in the dough adds plenty of rich fatty flavor.

                At the Green Bay Packer bar I’ve found here in PDX, they often have breakfast pasties, with eggs and bacon and cheese. They’re delicious enough that one always wants another, but I restrain myself as there will be beer and cheese curds to enjoy during the second half.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                I will also clarify that we asked about pronunciation while we were there.

                The breast decoration items are pronounced like paste-ies.

                The delicious UP item is pronounced past-ie.Report

              • Avatar atomickristin says:

                Yes I think the ones my dad is into were the Wisconsin ones, since his stepdad was from Wisconsin originally.

                I think.

                Based on your description I have indeed had pasties before, but among my people they are referred to as “Hot Pockets”.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain says:

              According to Wikipedia, when the mines in Cornwall played out, lots of the miners emigrated to places all over the world where mining was ongoing or expanding. They took pasties with them. Several of the states around the Great Lakes, California/Nevada, Mexico, and Australia in particular. Some place in Australia has a Cornish pasty festival, and had to get permission to continue using the name after “Cornish pasty” became a Protected Geographical Indication.

              Nebraska’s runzas have a different lineage, tracing back to Eastern Europe (hence the cabbage, which I’ve never heard of being used in pasties). Large numbers of Czechs and Serbs settled in the SE part of the state.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      This whole thread is going to get me in trouble with Mrs. Cain. I do the cooking. Sloppy joe filling in a pastry shell. Runzas. Pasties. Jamaican patties — there must be someplace here in Denver where I can get ground goat…Report

  2. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    My wife’s family is from Ohio and I joke that all of their recipes start with ‘1-lb of ground beef’. I am not a fan of sloppy joes (too sloppy i.e. too much sauce) but this sounds much better. It also reminds me a bit of this, which is a favorite in our house.Report

  3. Avatar atomickristin says:

    one pound? What are they, single or something?

    That sammie looks delicious. My family did a lot of cube steak growing up but for some reason, now, it demands premium prices so I hardly ever bother with it. But now you’ve given me a reason to start haunting the discount meat section again. Thanks!Report

  4. I enjoy these pieces so much. I might have to hijack your concept and do a deep dive on Doner kebab at some point, my own favorite sandwich that, unfortunately, is not readily available in quality stateside.Report

  5. Avatar pillsy says:

    I really like what I think of as sloppy joes, but in NJ “sloppy joe” means something different (a sandwich with cole slaw and Russian dressing), and I really think cole slaw is gross. I once went to a local event in part lured by the promise of free sloppy joes, and was unutterably disappointed when I got there.

    Also, this may be the funniest damn paragraph I’ve ever read on this website:

    Loose meat sounds like something one would hear in a WW 2 era short movie about syphillis. “Loose lips sink ships, but loose meat sinks fleets! Stay clean, soldier!” Actually I guess that would be a film for sailors since they’re the ones who travel in fleets but you get my drift.


    • Avatar atomickristin says:

      Ah yes, I’ve been considering when to play my NJ sloppy joe card. Because it’s a totally different thing entirely. More like a reuben which is probably where I’ll end up situating it.

      This sandwich article writing bizness is like playing a game of Tetris – you gotta have the right piece for the right spot. I have to embrace my inner Linnaeus “ok that’s a cat, that’s a dog, oh heck that’s a platypus!”

      Thanks so much – glad you liked it!Report

  6. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    So every homemade burger I make takes about a half a pound of meat and the whole thing ends up roughly 410 feet high by the time I put the pickles on it.

    Failing to see the problem here, @atomickristinReport

  7. Avatar bookdragon says:

    Two words: Philly cheesesteakReport

  8. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    Thanks, I really enjoyed this article, chucking along the whole time.

    I always thought of a sloppy Joe as a chili sandwich – so, including whatever kind of beans you like in your chili.

    Anyway, i see what you mean about the metric system being at a disadvantage in the US. A butte tonne of garlic would be way too much.Report

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