Bunsteads have been around in my family for a couple generations now. It’s something that my paternal grandmother made every New Years, and all her children make it every New Years, and now I make it every New Years (my sister is a vegetarian but she doesn’t cook anyway).
It’s one of those things that souns absolutely disgusting when you take a look at the ingredients. Or at least it does to me. And it did to my husband. In fact, the human vacuum cleaner I married almost refused to eat them the first time he saw them. Luckily, we were still in the dating phase, so he felt obligated to at least try them. He’s hooked.
I’m pretty sure this recipe came about as a way to get rid of leftovers in a very Depression Era household. It has all the things that you have in the fridge after Christmas (or at least all the things *we* have in the fridge), with a few extra staple tossed in.
I tend to make up a huge batch and freeze whatever sandwiches I’m not going to eat within the next couple days. It makes a great freezer meal to pop them straight into the oven and twenty-five minutes later – mmmmm! I actually heated one up for lunch today (since we do ham for Thanksgiving, I get to make these twice a year!) and am eating it as I type.
While there is a recipe below, I don’t believe that I’ve ever followed it exactly. I just put in what I have and however much looks right without ever measuring. It always gets eaten, and it’s always delish! The only thing I tend to go light on is the mayo, as I’m not a fan of mayo, so I use just enough to get the rest of the ingredients lightly coated.
6 hamburger buns*
2 T onion (I always overshoot on this)
1/4 lb cheddar cheese (ok so it calls for American, but I think that’s gross), cubed (~1 c)
2 T green pimento stuffed olives, chopped
3 hardboiled eggs, chopped (I slice them in the handy dandy egg slicer two ways and call it chopped)
1 c ham, cubed
2 T sweet pickle, chopped
2 T green pepper, chopped (I frequently omit this)
1/2 c mayo (it apparently calls for salad dressing but we’ve ALWAYS used mayo — see, I told you I’ve never really used the recipe, and I use closer to 1/4-1/3 c when I have much more volume)
Place the buns on a square of tin foil. Spoon in enough of the mixture to make a heaping pile (the more you put in, the more falls out later, but it’s all good!). Cover with the top of the bun, and fold the tin foil all around the sandwich. Cook in a 300 degree oven for twenty-five minutes (more or less). Eat immediately!
*We had only hotdog buns this time around, so I used those. It was fine, but a little messier to eat. I also used wheat bread when I ran out of buns, which was ok but got a little soggy.
Twenty-five minutes later, and you have this!