The original name for this recipe is Loose Meat Sandwiches. But when I was discussing this with my friends, none of them were able to get past the "loose meat" moniker - they thought it sounded gross. And since this recipe is totally NOT gross, I changed the name to avoid any further turn-offs. Because you really DO want to make these sandwiches - they are incredibly easy and incredibly delicious. The recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, A Year of Slow Cooking. What really caught my eye about this recipe is the fact that you don't have to brown the meat before you put it in the crockpot. I've never come across a recipe that didn't require browning the meat, so I was intrigued. I hate the extra step of browning meat before putting it in the crockpot - I feel like if I have to cook it first, the whole point of using the crockpot is defeated.
So this recipe won points with me right off the bat, but it totally won me over once I tasted it. The meat is savory and full of flavor - you definitely can't tell it wasn't browned first. I served these sandwiches on toasted rolls topped with a drizzle of ketchup and mustard and a slice of pickle. Trust me and don't skip the pickle - it really made the sandwiches for me and Joe! And feel free to call it whatever you want ;)
Free Form Burgers
1 pound extra lean ground beef or turkey, thawed (make sure it's lean)
1 onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups beef broth
8 hamburger buns
burger fixings of your choice
Crumble in the ground meat into slow cooker. Add onion, sugar, spices, mustard, and vinegar. Pour in the beef broth. Mix well until everything is fully incorporated. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Stir well before serving by scooping with a slotted spoons onto hamburger buns. Top with your desired fixings.