I grew up on sloppy joes from a packet. Travis grew up on the ones from a can. Ho-hum and woah salty! In an effort to get away from overly processed foods, I decided to try to make my own. It was WAY easier than I thought it would be! I even ground my own beef for this recipe, which by the way is also incredibly easy if you have the attachment for your mixer!
I'm not a fan of recipes that have mustard as a main stand out flavor, so I steered clear of those. The one I picked is from the Queen of 30 Minute Meals, Rachael Ray. I test drove the recipe for your taste buds' benefit a few weeks ago, and found it to be way too vinegar-y and way too sweet. So this time, I cut the sugar, tomato sauce and vinegar by about half for each ingredient. I also added a little bit of garlic and red pepper flakes to give the mixture a little better punch. And I added some stock to counter the sauce being taken out.
Everything came together just about as quickly as the stuff from the packet, and the flavor improvement is out of this world! It's definitely worth the 10 minutes of extra prep time it takes to chop the veggies and pull the spices out of the cabinet.
Now that these taste so much better than the packet version, you can guarantee I'll be serving these up a lot more often!
Oh and sorry for all the beef posts lately- I'm still enjoying the nuiance of how home ground sirloin tastes so much better than the store bought ground beef. I'll try to get away from all of this red meat after the weekend... I'm working Friday-Saturday-Sunday again, so I'll be MIA until the new week.
Enjoy the Joes- this recipe makes enough for about 6 sandwiches. The leftovers will keep for about a week, otherwise they freeze well!
Oh and if you're also eyeing those buns- you should be! They're fabulous and easy to make. Check 'em out!
Super Sloppy JoesAdapted from Rachael Ray's version
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef sirloin
1 medium onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, any color, diced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon steak seasoning blend, such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning (I only had the chicken grill seasoning, so that’s what I used)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder (about 3 cloves, if you’re using fresh)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2/3 cup vegetable or beef stock, divided
4 crusty rolls, split, toasted, and lightly buttered
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and meat to the pan. Spread the meat around the pan and begin to break it up. After no pink remains, add the onion and pepper, sauté until soft. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, steak seasoning, vinegar, Worcestershire, and BBQ sauce. Add mixture to the skillet and combine. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer. Add garlic and black and red peppers last so they don’t burn. Add about half of the stock, allow to thicken for about 5 minutes. If mixture seems dry after the first addition, add a little more stock until the mixture is moist but not sopping wet. If you add too much, continue stirring until some of the liquid evaporates. Taste now and season to adjust to your liking with a little more pepper, garlic or a touch of salt. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, pile sloppy meat onto toasted, buttered bun bottoms and cover with bun tops. Serve with sides of choice- green veggies or fruit go nicely with the peppery acidity of the Joes.