Food Snob Chronicles — The old school Fried Bologna Sandwich (Don’t judge me!)

So, you’ve arrived at a website that features tested recipes for lobster, crab and aged beef … with other tried and true methods for cooking with exotic ingredients like Kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal — and bologna.

Yeah. Bologna.

Before you disregard this tried and true cured goodness, just know that bologna is the only lunch meat that most auto-fill word processors actually capitalize. (Yeah, they also capitalize turkey, but whatever.) My bologna has a first name. And a second name (sometimes). My favorite bologna also has an ampersand, but you probably couldn’t care less.

Bologna was a regular part of my childhood for a handful of reasons. For starters, it was cheap. I also liked it. But, most importantly, my dad liked it so there were always packages of bologna in the refrigerator … until Friday at least, when he would take all the remaining slices in the package and place them between two pieces of white bread and eat it as a week’s end snack. That Friday afternoon nosh was more important to him than I could have imagined.

‘If you won a million dollars,’ I once asked my father, ‘what would you buy?’

Without hesitation, he answered ‘If I won a million dollars, I’d buy myself a ring of bologna.’

I’ve mentioned here that my father grew up in the cotton fields of north Texas. There were nights that he went to bed without dinner. And his bathroom was beyond the back door of his shotgun-style shack, with nary a roof.

A ring of bologna was a big deal to him.

I did a little cooking as a child and fried bologna sandwiches were an occasional fave. While some people prefer to slice a small triangle from the slice to prevent the dome that happens in the skillet, I preferred the meat helmets that formed when the heat met a bologna slice. The quintessential fried bologna sandwich includes white bread and mayo. I made my version with mustard and processed cheese. It tasted best with a side of potato chips and a dill pickle.

I still like the mustard and fake cheese these days, but I also like to grill my bread — in the fat rendered from the fried beef bologna. Ah, sweet Southern comfort.

Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way about this delicacy.

 

And my friend Shea Goldstein at Dixie Chik Cooks believes that my version is … a little outdated. Indeed, her modernized version of the Fried Bologna Sandwich is divine. You can decide which one you’re more comfortable with, but we’d appreciate your input either way. (I don’t wear my emotions on my sleeve, despite what you see in my ‘Bologna’ video.)

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Old School Fried Bologna Sandwich

The classic Southern Fried Bologna Sandwich — Don't hate. Just appreciate. This is good stuff.

The classic Southern Fried Bologna Sandwich — Don’t hate. Just appreciate. This is good stuff.

5.0 from 6 reviews
Fried Bologna Sandwich
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 - White bread slices
  • 2 - American cheese slices
  • 3-4 - Beef bologna slices (or 6-8 shaved bologna slices)
  • Yellow mustard
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized frying pan, fry bologna over medium heat until browned around edges, about 4-6 minutes. Place on paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  2. Spread desired amount of mustard on both sides of bread (I like a lot).
  3. Place cheese slices on same side of bread (or one slice on each side, if you prefer).
  4. Add bologna to the middle.
  5. Assemble sandwich and place in hot bologna fat. Grill until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side.
  6. Serve with potato chips and a dill pickle spear, if you want to feel all of the love.

 

Comments

  1. I loved fried bologna as a kid too (being from Texas I guess). Well done, Adam, well done. Even if the lady in the video disagrees. :)

  2. As a kid I ate a lot of bologna. My mom always bought Eckrich and I thought it was quite tasty. Though I have not been eating beef for a long while now, this sandwich had me drooling. We used to cook bologna the same way and also did the same with Kosher salami. My dad used to grill an entire chub and serve it with hot mustard. Oh my! For my kids I used to throw slices of salami in the microwave until good and crisp. I think they still make it today!

    • adamjholland says:

      My favorite brand growing up was Decker. (They were also my favorite dogs, but that company sold out some time in the mid-90s.) Micro-fried salami sounds really good, by the way! :-)

  3. P.S. That was a pretty funny video!

  4. Janet Anderson says:

    White bread, mayo, and Oscar Mayer Jalapeno Bologna. My new fave.

  5. Nice looking sandwich! Love to see what you would do with Olive Loaf. My husband’s college roommate in his freshman year was from Lebanon, PA and whenever his parents would visit, they would bring them a huge stick (loaf?) of Lebanon Bologna.

    Are you familiar with this type?

    • adamjholland says:

      Confession, Megan: I’ve always feared olive loaf. Lebanon bologna is a different story. I’ve always loved it, though it’s hardly ‘bologna.’

  6. Joan in VA says:

    Let’s hear it for the Old School Bologna Sandwich!!!!! Avocado – Sriracha — Not for me!

    Bologna sandwiches were a staple in my mother’s house. And, my brother and I looked forward to Saturday when the remaining lunchmeat would be fried up and made into sandwiches with lettuce and mayonnaise (well, actually Miracle Whip). A culinary triumph in our minds. I still like a nice fried bologna sandwich … I just don’t do it often anymore.

    • adamjholland says:

      The avocado and sriracha are definitely new-fashioned and delicious (I can’t get over the fried onion rings — wow). Like you, Joan, the old school version is for me. It’s funny that you should mention Miracle Whip, because I deviated from mustard occasionally as a child in lieu of the sweet white stuff from Kraft. Have you ever noticed that Miracle Whip is a lot like a struggling U.S. president? You can never find anyone who voted for the guy, even though he won by a landslide. You and I might be the only two people on the Internet who’ve admitted to eating Miracle Whip.

      • Wanda Marshall says:

        Hello,
        I’m more than a year late to this site, but I had to write. You are not alone in your love for Miracle Whip. Like you, I thought my family were the only ones, but I knew someone had to be eating as it is still in the stores. Mayonnaise was not allowed in my house when I was growing up as we were a total Miracle Whip family. I’ve never tried mustard, but I’m going to soon.

        Have not had a bologna sandwich in years. Was shopping in Wally World and had a craving for an old fashioned bologna sandwich. It’s been so long that I went on Pinterest to see how to make a bologna sandwich an that’s when I came upon this site and I was so excited that I had to respond. It’s late, but I’m going to have to put this craving to bed. I will try the mustard, but right now, it’s going to be a Miracle Whip night-it has been way too long.

        • adamjholland says:

          There’s nothing quite like an old-school bologna sandwich craving. It doesn’t happen very often (for me, anyway), but when it does, it’s a good thing the grocery store is open 24/7. Glad you stopped by. :-)

    • I’m with you Joan – that’s a great way to spend a Saturday – frying up the lunch meat. I’m also partial to olive loaf once in a while as well!

  7. YUM! This takes me back. I like the idea of a shaved bologna sandwich. I’m thinking right now of making a “Shaved Bologna Panini Sandwich With American Cheese” Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Bologne?… Love the stuff. I’ve never fried it, but your photo makes it look like a mouth watering delicacy.

  9. This reminds me of being a kid :-)
    And you are right you have to add the dill pickle.
    And serve it up with a glass of cherry soda!!!!

    I have recently started a food sharing site and would love for you to contribute your recipes.

  10. How could anyone hate this?? It looks delicious!!! I’ve never had fried bologna. I actually didn’t eat bologna very often as a kid (I was always eating PB&J), but my aunt’s family always had bologna in their fridge because their son positively loved it. I remember going over there and just eating the bologna with white bread and cheese. But I can imagine this fried version with mustard to be like 1 million times better. I mean, just look at that crispy bread with the tender meat sandwiched in between and melted mustard spilling out…I am drooling and very hungry now, Adam!

    • adamjholland says:

      It’s certainly not something you’d order at the Ritz Carlton restaurant, but for me it brings back a time of contentment. Thanks, Beeta!

  11. You actually, really & truly interrupted Dirty Dancing? Are you out of your mind Adam? Did you sleep with one eye open that night?

    Okay, I was a bologna sandwich girl (white bread w/mayo) for years. I moved on to fried bologna later on so I think fried bologna sandwiches must have something to do with maturity.

    • adamjholland says:

      Fried bologna sandwiches around some households also means the bologna is starting to go bad. And yes, I interrupted Dirty Dancing. Shame on me. ;-)

  12. Okay – I’m laughing! Your wife and my daughter should get together for a Dirty Dancing festival…….you and I could eat fried bologna sandwiches. Of course, Jerry would need to be there as well….His birthday (coming up ) is always the same: Fried bologna, mustard, red onion, vine ripened tomato, lettuce, Kraft Cheese Single and Plain Ruffles potato chips. Every year since he was about 10 (they tell me). he will be 56 on the 21st. That’s a long time – I like how yours is shaved. Believe I’ll try it that was this year. BTW, I always have mine with a fried egg on it………..ever tried that? YUM!

    • adamjholland says:

      I have tried the fried bologna/egg sandwich and I do enjoy it. I also like it on a (cold) dense sub roll with chopped lettuce and oil/vinegar. The variation in temperatures and consistencies with that one is just phenomenal.

  13. We love bologna in Hawaii, but no one sells it in the chub form. My sister found it in Oregon, her in-laws couldn’t believe that she was buying several chubs for family in Hawaii. My aunt would fry up thick slices (when the meat section would sell it by the pound, back in the sixties) and call it bologna steaks.

  14. I’ve not had fried bologna since I was a kid. It was one of the few things my mom could actually cook. I am a firm believer of mustard on bologna, mayo just isn’t enough, a mix of the two is even better. I must try it shaved, everything is better shaved!!! Throw in some BBQ chips on the sandwich and it is perfect!

    • adamjholland says:

      Mustard all the way, Terri! Admittedly, I’ve had it with several dressing types, but mustard is king! Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  15. I love the classic. It is hard to beat as a comfort food. In a pinch it would do. As an “adult”, I might try changing up the recipe a bit to reflect current taste. Just a suggestion:

    • 2 potato bread slices
    • thin sliced Red Fox cheddar cheese
    • Mortadella slices (or perhaps Spam)
    • Stone ground spicy mustard

    Keep the prep and other ingredients the same. Enjoy!

Trackbacks

  1. […] be showcasing his old school version, and today, I’m giving you my grown ass […]

  2. […] first one was Bologna Sandwiches. Want to see? Here’s mine and his, and the second was a nacho competition – mine and […]

  3. Aksil Blog says:

    Old School Goggle Looks

    [...] bologna sandwich includes white bread and mayo. I made my version with mustard [...]

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