Hot Tavern Loaf

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Like Sloppy Joe’s but sans tomato paste or ketchup, this take on the tavern sandwich—which some believe may have come about at Ye Olde Tavern in Sioux City, IA, while others say it was at Maid-Rite in Muscatine in the 1920s—features French bread dough that’s stuffed with loose meat, and then baked until warm, soft and crusty. Need a little tomato? Use spicy ketchup as your dip!


YIELD 4–6 servings
PREP TIME 2 minutes
ZEST FACTOR Medium
COOK TIME 50 minutes

1 pound ground chuck or beef
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons spicy mustard
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Water as needed
1 tablespoon flour plus more for dusting
1 cup heavy cream
7 ounces spicy cheddar, cubed
1 (11-ounce) package French bread dough

1. Brown the meat in skillet over medium-high. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the meat is fully cooked, about 3–5 minutes. Drain the meat and season with salt and pepper.
2. Stir in the mustard and Worcestershire, then add just enough water to barely cover the meat.
3. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed, about 15–20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Meanwhile, make a slurry with the flour and cream in a bowl. Pour into the skillet and simmer for about 3 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Set aside to cool, then add the cheese.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
6. Unroll the dough on a surface lightly dusted with flour. Arrange the meat in the center, fold the dough to the center and press together to secure. Bake seam side down for 25 minutes.
7. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then cut into slices and serve with your favorite garnishes.

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