Made-Rite Madness

It started many moons ago - I developed a craving out of nowhere for a Made-Rite. This is a loose meat sandwich served on a hamburger bun with a spoon. Made-Rites are predominately in Iowa, which is where my father is from.

Problem #1 - I hadn't had a Made-Rite in probably ten years, probably more. Where this craving came from, I didn't know, but it wasn't letting up. Once I started making the Made-Rites, why this was a problem became apparent - I didn't really remember what they tasted like. All I could say was, "No, this isn't quite it." But I didn't have the foggiest what ingredient or flavor might be missing.

Problem #2 - of course the recipe would be secret. I fished around on the internet, found several people's guesses, and started there.

The following recipe is the latest incarnation. It already has its problems. Next round I will add back in some apple cider vinegar (previous attempts featured it too heavily, but it is definitely missed when not at all present). I am also really tempted to actually try steaming the meat, as suggested by many recipes. Usually I've taken the easy way and just cooked it in a nice big saucier like pan.

This recipe calls for two ingredients I never thought would cross my threshold - dried minced onions and Gravy Master. But both are very very necessary. I tried to do without - not worth it. Just make that trip down the grocery store spice aisle.

Made-Rites for six

2 lb lean ground meat
2 tbl vegetable oil
4 tbl minced onions
1 tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp Gravy Master
2 tbl ketchup
2 tbl yellow mustard
2 tbl brown sugar
2 cups beef broth

Cook the meat in the oil, breaking it up very thoroughly. When it is mostly cooked through, add the rest of the ingredients, stir, then simmer uncovered for about ten minutes. Serve on buns with additional mustard and eat with spoons.

If you can handle waiting, the meat is definitely better the second day. It is fine to reheat in the microwave.


Anonymous said…
My " Can't Tell the difference " Maid Rite I've eaten them for 60 Yrs. 1lb hamberger, salt ,pepper, 1Tsp Beef Boullion, 1tsp onion powder,2oz water. Heat and stir in a sauce pan till all moisture gone, on low. do not brown meat.Eat only with onion, pickle and mustard.DWC
Anonymous said…
I was born In Davenport Iowa.In 1961 I had a restaurant on 3rd & Howell. I served what I called redi burgers.I sold a LOT of them. All I added to them was canned onion soup.When I added mustard and ketchup and cheese they were delicious.But nothing will ever take the M.R.'s place. Jack Butler (JACK'S MIDWEST CAFE) DAV. IOWA
Lindsey said…
I was recently in Chariton Iowa, and it seems that the secret ingridient is tapioca? I am working on getting my hand on the recipe. As soon as I do I will let you all know!
Lindsey said…
I am following through! This recipe is for a bunch of people.

25# Ground beef
2 T Pepper
6 T Salt
1 box minute Tapioca
4 T minced onions
1 cup Katsup
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t garlic powder
Cook slowly in a roaster pan, skimm out excess grease drippings
Anonymous said…
I'm from Iowa, too, and this is the recipe we always used. It's extremely easy:
1 lb. hamburger, browned in skillet
Add --
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Worchester sauce
Mix together and simmer until ready to serve. Vona Van Cleef, El Paso, TX
peaspipe said…
Just a couple suggestions to fix your Made-Rites. First, don't brown the burger. Break it up finely and "steam it" in water or the beef broth. Next, grate your onion and add a big dollap of horseradish. I think this will help.
Theri said…
all maid rites are is ground beef...simmered (not browned) and broken up of sauce and oyster sauce 2tbsp each for 1 lb of hamburger...pepper if desired...simmer medium...when it thickens add 1/4c of water continue to simmer low for 45 min covered...til thickened again...serve on buns with mustard, ketchup, onion and pickle to your taste...
how do i know father worked at the original maid rite...and said the secret ingredient was the oyster sauce and people thought they used worcestershire sauce...but they didn't it was soy sauce. he was born and raise in iowa...and worked there before i was born. i've eaten these my whole life and i'm 54. there is no thickening's the oyster sauce and the simmering that does it...
my kids ask for these all the time...i just was checking to see if anyone had gotten it yet...hehe
Anonymous said…
Do they have a website to order from? Please post it here so I can order. Thanks in advance.
Mike in San Diego, CA
Jeffrey said…
I have only one thing to add ... as a little girl I remember my grand mothers great "maderites", something I had never heard of in california, but the only ingredient I could remember (besides ground beef) was oatmeal. I guess it heald them together (and streached the meal)

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