Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sloppy Joes! Slop a Sloppy Joes!

My husband is thrilled. It's sloppy joe night. I PROMISE that these are the best sloppy joes you've ever tasted.

You will need a crock pot and a food processor. I wish I had a large food processor, but I just do the chopping in batches. You'll also have to excuse my appearance. This meal needs to cook ALL DAY on HIGH. Soooo, I was still unshowered and in my comfies while I was making this early this morning.

 The best thing about this recipe is that I always have the ingredients. A well stocked pantry, freezer and spice rack is the key. You will always have a fantastic meal on hand if you keep veggies in the drawer, meat & frozen veggies in the freezer & tomato sauce/paste and canned veggies in the pantry. This recipe came out of a need to use things that I had on hand when money was tight.

Start your crockpot & get it warmed up.

1.5-2 lbs of very lean ground meat (I used turkey today b/c I stocked up at Sam's Club at $1.97/pound! Cheaper than ground beef!!!!!)
2 bell peppers (I prefer red, but green work also)
1 sweet onion
1 stalk celery
1 carrot (or a handful of baby carrots)
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp Worschester Sauce
2 tbsp of burger or steak seasoning
a palmful of cumin
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
a few shakes of liquid smoke - about a tbsp or so
1 can of tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes
Annnnnd....the super secret ingredient (that isn't a secret anymore) - 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Get a deep sautee pan out & start it on medium heat. Spray with nonstick spray because we are using very lean meat. Put the protein in and break it up a bit...we don't want it browning, just lightly cooking/simmering. Start the veggies. Process the peppers, celery, carrots, garlic & onions until soupy. The consistency is important. They must be very finely minced to a near soup. I have to do it in batches since I have a wimpy processor. Add the veggies to the lightly simmering meat and incorporate them well.

Add the worschester sauce, burger/steak seasoning, cumin, paprika and a pinch of salt to the meat.
Now it's time to transfer the mixture over to the crock pot and add the rest of the ingredients.

Add the brown sugar, molasses, liquid smoke, tomato sauce & cider vinegar. Combine.

Secret Ingredient....Shhhhhhhhh.

It will look kind of light in color. It's ok. It NEEDS to cook all day to get the real sloppy color. Something magical happens in 6-8 hours. Trust me. The smell is intoxicating. Jim always wants to sneak a taste at lunchtime, but it's never ready that quickly.

After cooking all day, it looks like this:

Taste it and add salt/pepper if needed. Sometimes it's on the sweet just add a bit of salt to even it out.

I decided to whip up some quick mac & cheese for Jake on the side. Jake loves cheese.

I was in a dancing mood this evening.

Mission Complete.


Melissa said...

I'm posting this from a facebook review from Mel:
Please feel free to move thisn to your review section!): Sloppy Joe's: yuuuuummmmm! I dont have a crock pot, so I actually made these in my dutch oven, the same as the crock. All day. It smelled fantastic in my house all afternoon!! My husband said they were the best he's ever had, and my kids chowed down (as did I!) The only thing I will say is that it did have a little bit of a sweetness to it. Which was totally okay with us, but I have a friend who doesnt like 'sweet' at all in her main meals. So if you are like that, I guess just cut down on the brown sugar/molasses (right gourmom?). Easy, Fantastic, another 5 stars!

Melissa said...

My response to that is your friend may want to use a bit more salt or steak/burger seasoning. A little soy sauce in there would probably be fantastic too. I may have to try that next time instead of salt.

rklein93 said...

sloppy joes are also called wimpy's, BBQ's, and taverns

rklein93 said...

sloppy joe's are also called wimpy's, taverns, and BBQ's. I live in south dakota