This is not a recipe: Hobo Joes


Some of my favorite dishes don’t come from a printed recipe – they come from a friend or family member or acquaintance who jots something down or tells you the ingredients quickly over the phone.


My mom used to make Hobo Joes for us when I was a kid. I have no idea where that name came from, but I imagine it refers to a foil packet of food that could be cooked over a fire by a vagabond. Where did my family get this non-recipe? No clue.


It’s basically a steamed packet of goodness that you can tailor to whatever you like and whatever’s in your fridge.


Lay out a few sheets of foil. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Or 400°F. Whatever floats your boat. Mix a half a pound of ground beef (or ground turkey?) with some Lawry’s seasoning (or whatever seasoning you like, just make sure there’s some salt), and form two patties (or roll into little meatballs). Set aside. On the foil, layer sliced (or diced!) potatoes with any other veggies you want – canned mixed veggies, sliced zucchini, mushrooms, corn – whatever. Be sure to salt them a little as you go. Top with some canned diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes), sprinkle everything with salt and pepper, then plop the beef patty on top. Fold into a well-sealed foil packet and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the veggies are tender. You can either eat it straight from the foil or slide the goodness onto a plate. Spoon on some salsa. Or sour cream. Or sprinkle with cheese. Whatever makes your mouth happy.


And that’s a hobo Joe – one of the most comforting dishes I know. 🙂

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