…for dinner tonight! There’s a time to keep things clean & orderly in the kitchen, and then there’s a time to bust out the extra napkins. Tonight falls into the latter category. I love to try and keep meals new & creative, but sometimes, ya’ just want a good, hit-the-spot dinner, especially when the temperature dips down. Classic, cost effective, and simple – We’re making Sloppy Joes! I have seen many variations to this good old American sandwich, but we’re going to keep things pretty standard, using a seasoned tomato based sauce, and lean ground beef. This is a good one to make during week nights when time is sparse, and goes well with almost any side dishes, though I like mine with homemade mac & cheese, which will be our next post! If you aren’t a fan of beef, you can easily substitute ground turkey, but I’m partial to the beef-based version myself. You won’t need to buy a seasoning packet made for sloppy joes, it just has a bunch of sodium & stabilizers, so we’ll skip it and use fresh flavors of onion, garlic and eat them on soft, steamed bakery buns.
Even though I love Sloppy Joes, they’re certainly not the most attractive sandwich, and they seem somewhat reminiscent of elementary school days. I can’t help but think of the lunch lady scene from the movie Billy Madison. Though, ours will be entirely less frightening, I promise…
Get your buns ready, get to the stove, and let’s get this homemade Manwich in motion:
- 2 lbs lean ground beef ( I used 93/7 this time, but prefer 90/10)
- 1 sweet white onion, chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely (were large cloves)
- 2, 8-oz cans tomato sauce
- 3T tomato paste
- ¼ cup Heinz Ketchup
- 2T Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp salt (additional to taste)
- ½ tsp pepper (additional to taste)
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- dash cayenne pepper
- package soft bakery buns or standard hamburger buns
- In large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, salt, pepper & Italian seasoning, mixing well.
- In large skillet on stove crisp one piece of bacon, discard bacon slice and reserve some of the grease.
- To pan, add the onion & garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes on medium-low.
- Now add seasoned ground beef and stir to incorporate into onion mix evenly.
- Cook beef in pan for about 5 min, then add 2 cans of tomato sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, worcestershire, red wine vinegar and dash cayenne pepper.
- Combine well and cook on medium-low stirring occasionally, letting sauce thicken & then add more salt & pepper to taste.
- Keep meat mix on low until cooked through, sauce has thickened and you're ready to serve.
- In small steamer pot on stove boil a half cup of water and place sliced buns in pot with lid, to steam for a minute or so (you can skip if they're the overly soft white hamburger variety).
- Serve meat mixture on buns and add slice of Cheddar or American cheese for melting as desired!
Typically I would have bought 10% fat-lean ground beef, but the butcher gave me 3% accidentally, and I didn’t notice in time! Oh well, at least he still gave me beef. So, in this instance, I seasoned the pan that I used to cook the beef, by first crisping-up a piece of bacon. I removed the bacon and left a small amount of the resulting grease, so to give us a little more flavor to work with. Many people add chopped bell pepper and/or brown sugar into their meat mix, but I think the tomato paste and ketchup give it enough sweetness, though if you want yours sweeter, just add more ketchup! Also, this sandwich would be very good with a slice of melted cheese on top of the meat, though I skipped this time, to save it for the impending cheesy macaroni goodness!
On this rainy day, you don’t have to be a kid to stay-in & be a little sloppier than usual… and I’m not regretting this dinner one little bit!Pin It