Hot stuff, baby!


A dynamite from Barbara's Place, Woonsocket.

A dynamite is a sandwich consisting of fried hamburger, peppers, onions, tomato sauce, and crushed red pepper, served on a torpedo roll. It's mostly a make-at-home kind of thing, like sloppy joes, but they can also be found at fairs, festivals, and a few eateries in Woonsocket.

The Beaulieu Family Recipe

Author Linda Beaulieu says the following recipe was distilled from the time-tested recipes of several members of her extended family.

Ever since I was a little kid, Dynamites have been on the table whenever a large crowd needed to be fed. I remember my mother cooking a big pot of Dynamite filling on the wood-burning stove in the cellar when everyone lost electric power during the famous blizzard of 1978. I'm not sure of the origin, but Dynamites are similar to Sloppy Joes, which virtually do not exist in this part of the country. Dynamite sandwiches are the kind of food you continue to eat even when you are full, just to get another bite, one more taste. So while this recipe may seem to be for a crowd, you will be surprised at how fast it goes. Fresh torpedo rolls, also known as grinder rolls, are available at bakeries and supermarkets throughout Rhode Island. Almost any kind of roll will do, as long as it is substantial enough to hold a serious amount of Dynamite mixture.

  • 5 pounds of ground beef
  • 5 pounds of green peppers, diced
  • 5 pounds of red peppers, diced
  • 5 pounds of yellow onions, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 28-ounce cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • hot pepper flakes, to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Italian seasoning, to taste
  • 20 fresh torpedo rolls

In a very large stockpot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef, stirring often. Add the diced green and red peppers, onions, and garlic. Mix well. When the vegetables begin to soften, add the tomato sauce, bay leaves, parsley, hot pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for two to three hours.

This filling tastes best if made a day or two ahead of time. Allow the pot to cool and then refrigerate it. Reheat slowly, stirring often. Serve in fresh torpedo rolls. Leftovers freeze very well.

Makes twenty servings.

—From The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook by freelance food writer and restaurant publicist Linda Beaulieu. Used with permission.

Kimba's Dynamite Recipe

[This is] a pretty basic kind of recipe, and like tomato gravy, it's open to innumerable variations.

  • 2 pounds hamburger
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2-3 green peppers, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 32-ounce can of tomato puree
  • 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
  • Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper to taste

Brown hamburger with celery, peppers, and onions. Drain fat. Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices. Simmer thirty minutes. Serve in soft torpedo rolls.

You can add more heat by adding the "wet" crushed red pepper that comes in jars in the Italian food section.

—posted by Kimba in alt.rhode_island, February 11, 2004.

This article last edited April 9, 2006

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