It’s funny: I’ve never made Sloppy Joe’s before. I vaguely remember eating them for school lunches, I remember those insipid Manwich commercials, but I’d never actually made Sloppy Joe’s before.
And then last night my sister the photographer texted me a photo of her dinner – Sloppy Joe’s! It’s a trend, I tell ya.
Curious, I talked with my best friend Google about variations of Sloppy Joe’s. I compared a lot of recipes, but in the end, I went back to my most favorite cookbook: America’s Test Kitchen. I had *most* of the ingredients on hand and it gave directions for making it ahead of time. I like that.
I served these with Oven-fried Sweet Potatoes.
For a first-time experience – THIS was a winning meal! Seriously – E not only FINISHED her Sloppy Joe, she asked for a SECOND one. No Joke! J ate all of his meat and about 4 fries. R probably ate 10 fries – and nothing else. She kept saying “YUMMY mommy! YUMMY!”
You can’t argue with an almost-2-year old.
Oh – and C asked me how I made the potatoes. Turns out he wanted to make sure I took notes so I could make them this way again. *grin*
Sloppy Joe’s adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Dairy-FREE, 7 Year Old Approved
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil **I used Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, minced **I can never seem to mince my onions. Mine were chopped.
1 Garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
3/4 lb. (85% lean) Ground Beef **I used 1 whole pound.
1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
Salt & Pepper
1 cup Tomato Puree **Didn’t have on hand. Used 8oz. of Tomato Sauce and 1 Tablspoon of Tomatoe Paste. Totally worked!
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Water
4 Hamburger Buns
1- Heat the oil in a skillet (I used a cast-iron one) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
2- Add the Garlic and Chili Powder and cook for 1 minute.
3- Add the Beef, Brown Sugar, 1/4 teaspoon Salt and 1/8 teaspoon Pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces until the meat is no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
4- Stir in the Tomato Puree (or Sauce and Paste, in my case), Ketchup, and Water. Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with Tabasco, Salt and Pepper to taste.
5- Spoon 1/2 cup of the meat mixture into each hamburger bun.
To Make Ahead
The meat can be fully prepared and refrigerated for up to 3 days – or frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat over low heat, adding a little extra water if it seems too thick. **Since I made this about 3 and planned on serving it at 6, I let it cool on the stovetop, then reheated over low heat until it bubbled again. I dunno if I was supposed to degrease the meat, but I wish I had at the very beginning. It was a little greasy. Delicious, but greasy.
Oven-Fried Sweet Potatoes By Me
Dairy-FREE, Gluten-FREE, 7 year old AND Toddler Approved!
Sweet Potatoes, cleaned and cut into wedges – leave the peels on **Tonight I used 2 large and 4 small
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1- Oven to 350ºF. Toss your sweet potatoes with the olive oil then lay them out on at least 1 baking sheet, maybe two – just make sure you don’t crowd the pan(s). Whack your pans into the oven for 45 minutes.
2- Turn the oven up to 450ºF and let them bake another 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn. Season with salt as they come outta the oven.
3- Serve with ketchup or BBQ sauce. Enjoy!
BTW – during dinner E and I listed off all of the meals that I make that are on her Favorites List:
(Frozen Leek) Dumplings and Dipping Sauce with Edamame on the side
“And don’t forget Sloppy Joe’s,” she said.
Love that kid.