By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – Best Of The Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 67). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]


In Kansas City, this is a close kissing-cousin to a Sloppy Joe but referred to merely as “loose hamburger”.


2 pounds ground chuck

1 envelope onion soup mix

2 envelopes Tomato Cup-A-Soup

(or use my “Cup of Thoup” – see Index)

½ cup chopped onion

¼ cup ketchup

¼ cup pickle relish

2 tablespoons dry, minced green pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon garlic salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon Anise extract

1 tablespoon dry parsley flakes

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

¼ cup all-purpose flour


Press ground chuck into a non-greased 10-inch skillet to cover pan evenly. No additional oil is needed since the chuck has enough of its own fat to grease the pan as it cooks. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer slowly for 15 minutes to bring out the natural juices in the beef.

Remove the lid and break up the meat with the back of a fork and stir it around, adding each of the remaining ingredients as listed EXCEPT the flour!  Pack the mixture back over the bottom of the pan, keeping heat on low to medium. Now, add the flour; but dust it evenly over the meat mixture, allowing it to absorb the flour.

Stir it gently just to incorporate the flour. Pack it down again with the back of a large spoon and cover the pan tightly again. Simmer it very slowly for 10 minutes. If you like a thicker sauce, stir in 1/3 cup Grapenuts cereal during the 10-minute-simmer time!

Spoon the mixture into split, toasted hot dog buns for 8. Left-overs can be refrigerated for up to a week if tightly covered. Frozen left-overs should be used within 3 months.


MAN-WITCH SLOPPY JOES [from Loose Hamburger]

Prepare the Loose Hamburger exactly as directed above except, after stirring in the flour and just before the last simmering period, you should also add:


1-pound can stewed-tomatoes

¼ cup bottled Italian salad dressing

8-ounce can tomato sauce

8-oz can jellied cranberry sauce (mashed well with the back of a fork)

6-ounce can V-8 Juice

10-ounce can tomato soup


Stir well. If the skillet in which you prepared the hamburger doesn’t look like it will accommodate all the additional ingredients, transfer the meat mixture into a [skillet] that will, then add the Man-Witch ingredients. Spoon the mixture into split and broiler-toasted hamburger buns. Sufficient for serving 8 with leftovers, which can be refrigerated up to a week if tightly covered. Freezes well up to 3 months.


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Cleaning Makes Me Happy

By TheRecipeDetective

Hi! I'm Laura Emerich and Gloria Pitzer, the ORIGINAL Secret Recipe Detective, is my mom. This website is lovingly dedicated to her memory and legacy.

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