Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sloppy Joes? Taking the bun to a whole new level.

On the 3rd day I made sloppy Joes, and they were good. I remember eating mamwich sloppy Joes and disliking them greatly, so naturally I had my reservations. I googled many recipes and ultimately decided upon a Rachel Ray recipe...I don't normally like her food all that much, but I had most of the ingredients her version called for. Of course I tweaked it and added my own special "Dagny zing" to it. To make it healthier I added diced carrots - I try to hide vegetables in all my food if possible so the kids will get more of their veggies...yeah no, I really do it so I will eat my vegetables. I served them open faced atop toasted whole wheat hamburger rolls. Everyone loved them! Almost everyone had at least seconds, and then fought over the leftovers the next day. This is going to be a common meal in my home, especially with all the deer meat in the the freezer out back. So please, if you have bad or good memories of Sloppy Joes, I urge you to give it a second chance...even though Shania Twain says "the first cut is the deepest", I say "the second bite is the sweetest".

The Sloppiest of Sloppy Joes:
Recipe courtesy of Rachel and Dagny

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (or ground turkey, or deer should work nicely as well)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of grill seasoning (or a combination of salt, pepper, and pepper flakes)
1 medium onion chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 crusty rolls, split, toasted, and lightly buttered

Finely dice onion, bell pepper, and carrot - or to make it easier, pulse in food processor. 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. Add sugar and spices to the skillet and combine. When the meat has browned, add onion, pepper, and carrot to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, peppers, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer. Using a large spoon pile sloppy meat onto toasted, buttered bun bottoms and cover with bun tops.
fyi- this freezes very well!

Some little know facts about the Sloppy Joe:

A sloppy joe is an American dish of ground beef, onions, sweetened tomato sauce or ketchup and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun.[1] Commercially made sauces such as Mamwich are also available. Textured vegetable protein may be used as a vegetarian substitute for the meat. Sloppy Joes are simpler variant of barbecue sandwich which uses shredded beef or pork and barbecue sauce.

The name "sloppy" comes from the fact that eating it as if it were a normal sandwich often results in the meat and sauce spilling out. It may also be served "open face", with the bun halves or slices of bread next to each other and the meat on top of each.

Sloppy Joes are also referred to as:

- Wimpies in parts of the Northeast USA, especially Northeastern Pennsylvania
- Yip Yips in parts of southwestern Illinois near St. Louis
- Slushburgers in parts of the Upper Midwest, particularly in western North Dakota and Eastern Montana
- Barbecues in other areas of the Upper Midwest, especially eastern North Dakota
- Hot Tamales in parts of southeastern Wisconsin, particularly in the Sheboygan area despite the fact that tamales are a completely different food item
- Taverns in parts of northwest Iowa and Minnesota.

The term Sloppy Joe is also used in Australia (and other countries) to describe a loose fitting pullover, often made from fleecy lined cotton

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