I confess I love the Big Boy restaurants here in Michigan. But we don’t eat out so I often find myself yearning for one of my Big Boy favorites. Rather than spend money we don’t have and drive to the middle of the next town to get to one of the restaurants I make my own versions of their classic recipes at home. Since I had some lovely ham left from the spiral-sliced ham we got recently I decided to make Copycat Slim Jim sandwiches. And what would they be without that great tartar sauce that Big Boy adds? So I’m making a big batch of the tartar sauce today for both the Slim Jims and for the fried fish I’m going to serve tomorrow.
There are different Big Boys depending on where in the country you’re eating. There’s the Michigan Big Boy (formerly Elias Brothers Big Boy), Frisch’s, Bob’s, Shoney’s, and probably others. Since I’m a Michigan gal I make the Michigan versions of Big Boy recipes.
The Slim Jim sandwiches are so easy to create that I don’t know why I don’t make them more often! I always start by making the tartar sauce. I want the flavors to have a little time to blend while the rest of the sandwich is being made.
I put a 1/2 cup of good mayonnaise in a medium size bowl.
To the mayonnaise I add a couple of tablespoons of finely diced onion.
Next I add 1 1/2 tablespoons of dill relish and (here’s what makes it taste like the Big Boy sauce) 1 teaspoon of the relish juice. Then I just mix everything with a spoon and refrigerate it while I make the sandwiches.
I heat up some of the ham by frying it a little in a tablespoon of butter. You can reheat the ham in any way you choose but, honestly, why would you pass up butter?
I’m using some small sub buns today. My big regret is that I don’t have any sesame seed buns but I don’t want to wait until we go to town! I butter the inside of each (both sides) and put it on the griddle so I get that great, crunchy, grilled bread!
While the buns are grilling I add a slice of Swiss cheese to each portion of ham and let it melt. If some of the cheese kind of slides off the ham and gets brown and crispy I consider it a bonus!
When the Swiss cheese is melted I put the ham and cheese on the buns, add a couple of slices of tomato, some lettuce, and smear a good bit of the tartar sauce on each sandwich. Oh, my gosh! Sometimes it’s hard to hand a plate over to Mr C when the Slim Jim is just calling out to me!
To really replicate the Big Boy sandwich I should serve it with fries but Mr. C loves potato wedges so that’s what I make. And, of course, I have to add a couple of dill pickle slices to the top of each Slim Jim Sandwich!
I just realized this Slim Jim looks as if it’s mocking me. But I’ll win! I get to eat it!
- 1/2 cup good mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons onions, finely diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dill relish
- 1 teaspoon dill relish juice
- 4 sandwich rolls
- butter for each roll + some for frying ham
- 8 slices ham
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- Lettuce and tomato slices
- Mix mayonnaise, onions, dill relish, and relish juice until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to assemble sandwiches.
- Fry ham in about 1 tablespoon of butter to heat through.
- Butter inside of sandwich rolls (both sides).
- Grill sandwich rolls on griddle or in large pan until golden brown and crispy.
- Top on half of each roll with 2 slices of ham and 2 slices of Swiss cheese. Keep rolls in hot pan until cheese melts.
- Spread tartar sauce on roll and top with lettuce and tomato slices.