Saturday, September 15, 2012

Maid Rite Burgers

If you are from Iowa, you will know exactly what 'maid rites' are!  They are a loose meat sandwich, made famous almost a century ago by Fred Angell, who opened a chain of restaurants in Iowa called Maid-Rite.  They were the first restaurants to have car-hops and drive-in service in the USA...and their trademark sandwich was what put them on the map.  86 years later, the company is still going strong!  On a recent trip to Iowa, we were served maid-rite sandwiches at my brother's home for lunch.  He told us the story behind the burger...and my sister-in-law shared her recipe.  So today I am sharing a copykat version of the original Midwest icon...served with corn-on-the-cob in true Iowa style.  They are not quite a burger...not really a sloppy-jo...but simply seasoned ground beef on a warm bun.  And apparently they are always served with dill pickles...and a spoon, just to be sure you get every last bit of meat.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  1. Saute ground beef and onions until meat is crumbled and evenly browned. (Use a potato masher to stir while cooking.)
  2. Drain juices.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until most of the juice is gone.
  4. Serve on warm buns, with mustard and pickles.
Tasty and tender!


22 comments:

  1. Hmmm...we shall have to give these a go. (Perhaps when that Iowan bil shows up.)

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  2. Iowa has the very best corn! Will try these sandwiches - looks good.

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    1. It sure does, I miss my Iowa corn. I miss living in Iowa.

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  3. Yes! These are the best! I'm ashamed to tell how many I can consume at a sitting....

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  4. I spent the first 40 years of my life in Iowa and grew up eating Maid-Rites. They are the thing I miss most about living there and the first meal I always have when we visit. My youngest son still lives there and ususally brings me some in a cooler when he visits KS. I can't imagine adding ketchup to these. In fact I know of at least two of the locations that don't even offer ketchup on the tables or in the establishment! Pickles are an optional addition but I much prefer onion. I think the original Maid-Rites are simply beef and minimal spicing. The secret is good quality beef. In Wichita KS you can find Nu-Way Burgers which was founded by an ex-Maid-Rite employee who moved to Kansas. I could eat a Maid-Rite every day (and frequently do when we go "home").

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    1. My version may be far from the 'real thing'...since I have never even visited a 'Maid-Rite' restaurant. But I know the beef was top-notch...since it was raised on our own farm. We enjoyed our 'pretend' Maid-Rite...and maybe one day we will have an opportunity to try the original version!

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    2. Mary L. I agree, no ketchup, that is not a true Iowa Maid Rite. BUT these were still awesome and my family loved them as a sloppy joe.

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing this. My husband grew up in Iowa and loves Maid-Rites. I've tried several copycat recipes over the years and have gotten close but not quite there. Tomorrow is his birthday and I think I'll make these for his birthday dinner!

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  6. I was watching a documentary about sandwiches and they went to the orginal Maid-Rite in Iowa, people ate them like they were going out of style, always with some milkshake or huge coke or other beverage, pretty simple and straightforward! I think the reason they are so good is that the beef in Iowa is corn fed and delish..But if you raise your own beef well you got the cream of the crop...most people cannot get the good stuff in urban places unless one is willing to go in with another family or if the family is huge buy a beef locally raised with no added chemicals fed on grass and out in a pristine pature and knowing the person who is raising it..then one can get some decent expensive beef and locally raised chickens too. Where I live Whole Foods will get you that beef for an enormous amount per pound dressed or New Seasons Market but most people cannot afford that so I take my hat off to you..Love your blog so so delish recipes and your musings are peaceful, kind & loving towards God and your family & others. Peaceful indeed!

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  7. You're always full of info ~ I never heard of a Maid-Rite sandwich before. I always thought that was a Sloppy Joe:)

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  8. Thanks for sharing the recipe. We lived in Iowa back in the 80's and enjoyed eating Maid-Rite burgers. I've tried making at home but never tasted the same. Gonna try your version.

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  9. I was raised in MI and we had the best potato chips called Made-Rite...LOL. They were made right in town at a small plant and they were my favs. The plant is gone now but I have fond memories.

    I'll have to try these burgers. Can you use ground sirloin to get the taste??

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    1. Any good quality ground beef should do the trick!

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  10. I will have to try these. I think that this will likely taste very much like the way my mom made sloppy joes. When she made them, she seasoned the ground beef with a can of Campbell's chicken gumbo soup (strange but true). These ingredients sound much more appealing and readily accessible.

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    1. Lorrie..I have this recipe also and it's good also!

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  11. Those buns look delicious too. Did you make them? Which recipe?

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    1. Lorrie...I served Iowa's favorite burger sandwich on 'Manitoba buns':) They are a recipe from my mom-in-law's archives which she always called Manitoba buns, since it originated from her prairie days. I'll post the recipe one of these days.

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  12. We had a Maid Rite in our western part of Iowa, but I guess since we had the same thing 'only differnt' in our area it didn't go over as well as it has in other areas in Iowa! No matter which ones...I love them all!

    Blessings,
    Gert

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  13. I made these and they were very yummy! I chose to serve them with baked beans, a salad and your suggested pickles, to make it a bigger meal. If it were still summer, I would have served them with potato salad (I grew up with the notion that potato salad can only be served in summer - weird, eh?). I used very lean ground beef, but still found that the juices did not ever completely absorb, so I had to drain it a bit. I will make these again!

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  14. I love that the creator of this pin referenced Iowa, and it's glory. I am a born and raised in Iowa. Still live in Iowa, my town still has a Maid Rite, that stay packed at lunch and dinner time. However, this is not a correct Iowa Maid Rite recipe. Iowa's Maid Rite are not sweet like these ones are. Iowa's Maid Rites are not sweet at all. This is more of a Sloppy Joe recipe for us Iowa folks. With that said this IS an awesome Sloppy Joe recipe, it is not too sweet like most are. I will be replacing this with my current recipe. My kids loved these and my two year old ate a whole sandwich. Glad I found this even though I was looking for a Maid Rite recipe :)

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