Thursday, October 7, 2010

No-Can-Allowed Sloppy Joes

Hey you! Yes you. I understand that you don't really cook much, if at all. But seriously, you can make this sloppy joe and avoid that canned starter nonsense that many first think of when a sloppy joe is mentioned. Truth be told, I don't think I've ever had sloppy joes before trying this recipe. The idea kind of repulsed me to be honest. I grew up on home cooking. My momma is Puerto Rican. Sure we've got some Americanized meals in the rotation but she never made us any sloppy joes. If you know me and we've talked food, you probably know I love finding recipes from Allrecipes. I love this site because it reviews the recipes AND you can sort the reviews by "most helpful" so you can see what others did that made it really tasty. That's where I found the recipe that I made yesterday, with a few changes of course. I first made this recipe years ago and it's been a while (as in three years) but for some reason I decided it was time to revisit the sloppy joe. Boy was Skywalker happy about that!

Below are the ingredients I thought I might use. I was short on the amount of ketchup I wanted to use so I thought I might just use that can of tomato sauce but I didn't. So just ignore that little fella. We'll just pretend he was there for moral support.

The first thing I did was dice up the onions and peppers. I had just over two pounds of ground beef so I wanted a "full" half cup of each.What do I mean by a "full" cup? It's piled a bit high when measuring it out.

Okay so typically I hand dice and why not? It's such a small amount it wouldn't have been too much work but I wanted it to be a small dice and I remembered my handy gadget! I first saw this little beauty at my mom's house. I used it and immediately was overcome with kitchen-gadget-envy. My mommy loves me and bought me one! Yay! I think you can use it for various things however I use it for onions about 95% of the time. So you there... the one that's averse to chopping onions? This gadget is for you.

Look how pretty and delicate that dice is?!? Honestly I could have added more onions and green peppers. Skywalker would have been none the wiser - they were so tiny! Next time I'm going for a full cup of each.

 Also, notice I added about a tsp of olive oil. I had the heat on medium and I wanted to cook the onions and peppers for about five minutes before I added the ground beef. I only used a tiny bit of olive oil because I knew once the ground beef was added, there would be plenty of fat.

After the onions and peppers were able to get a head start I added the ground beef and cooked it until it was brown. You want to make sure to stir and kinda chop up the ground beef so there are no big chunks. That will ensure it cooks evenly AND every single bit of beef will get coated in sloppy joe goodness. Small chunks are fine. Once the beef was brown, I drained the liquid. I drained it over a colander to catch any beef that fell out but I didn't dump all of the ground beef in there. I figured any remaining liquid wouldn't be a bad thing so I wasn't overly concerned with getting every drop out. Look at that cool plume of steam!!

Next I added the ketchup, garlic powder and brown sugar. This is also the step where you're supposed to add in mustard but I didn't have any. No regular mustard, no Dijon mustard, no Dijonnaise, not even any mustard powder! Honestly I figured I'd have SOME kind of mustard something to add but oh well. Next time.

Dear blogspot, please allow me to rotate pictures after upload.
Once you've mixed the ingredients in, you'll want to reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes. I bought kaiser rolls for my sloppy joes. I lightly spread butter on the inside of each bun half and toasted the bread. After the sloppy joe mixture had cooked through, I added about 1 tsp of Kosher salt and about 1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper but basically you just salt and pepper to taste. I slapped that saucy, meaty goodness on my kaiser buns and ate the tasty mess! 

Easy. Tasty. AND you know exactly what's going into your sloppy joes. Make this for your kiddies. Make this for yourself. Just don't forget the napkins!

A handy tip to make life easier? Make a double batch and freeze the extra for future meals. One of the reviewers from Allrecipes recommended freezing the mixture in muffin tins. Makes for a perfect single sandwich serving. I decided to use my pumpkin shaped cupcake mold because it's my biggest silicone one.

I figured if it was a silicone type mold, it would be easy to remove. Tada!

(Adapted from Sloppy Joes II)

2.25 lbs of ground beef
1/2 "full" cup onions
1/2 "full" cup green pepper
2 cups ketchup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp yellow mustard (if you've got it!)
salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a skillet over medium heat add 1tsp of olive oil, the onions and green peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. Add ground beef and cook until brown, stirring occasionally.
  3. Drain liquids and add in the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

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