Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sloppy joes...not just an Adam Sandler song

Did I just date myself by using such an old Adam Sandler reference?  I saw him live, at Radio City Music Hall back, oh, about 18 years ago.  He was all the rage then and I loved him!

But I digress.  The concept of a Manwich-type sloppy joe always made me feel a little nauseous.  I think it's similar to my Other People's Meatballs situation I referenced before.  I just get picky about meat.  My friend, who works at William-Sonoma, made sloppy joes when I visited her this summer.  She used the William-Sonoma sauce which was ridiculously tasty.  But it is just a tad too pricey for my budget.

One day, however, I was just in the mood for a sloppy joe.  I went to the Food Network site to see what they had to say about them, and found many recipes.  I took a few recipes and melded them together, tasting and adjusting the spices as I went along.  I made it a second time, really fine tuning what worked for me and my particular taste.  Many recipes include bell pepper, sometimes I add it, sometimes I do not.  Feel free to add it, if you like.  It is a quick recipe, good for a work night.  Toast your roll in the oven for a few minutes, then pile the meat on top. Serve a nice mixed green salad with a crisp vinaigrette alongside it.  Voila!  Dinner is served! You could even serve it over brown rice if you are GF.  

Mellie's Sloppy Joes

Olive oil for browning the meat and onions(1-2 TBSP)
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons steak seasoning (I happened to have McCormick's Montreal Steak seasoning.)
1 medium onion, chopped small
1 1/2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 1/2 TBSP worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder (feel free to omit if you don't want the little kick)
1 tsp dry mustard
2 cups tomato sauce (the kind in the can, not jarred)
2 TBSP tomato paste (if it was frozen like mine usually is, then you can add earlier in the cooking to help it defrost.)
crusty rolls for serving

Deliciousness.  One of the keys is breaking
up the meat into tiny bits.

Heat a large pan over medium high heat.  Add oil and then meat , spreading the meat around and starting to break it up.  Add the steak seasoning while the meat is browning.  When it is no longer pink, drain the oil off then return to the large pan.  Meanwhile, saute the onions in a small pan until tender and translucent. Add the brown sugar and onions to the browned meat, mixing it in.  Reduce heat to medium and add vinegar, worcestershire, chili powder, and dry mustard.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add tomato sauce and paste, stirring to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.  Simmer on low for 10 minutes.  The meat is already cooked through, but the flavors need a chance to come together.
I like to toast my roll in the oven for 2-3 minutes.  It helps prevent roll sogginess.  Add a large spoonful of the mixture to the roll and enjoy!

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