Monday, October 20, 2008

Sloppy Joes

1 lb ground beef
2 8oz (or 1 15-16 oz) cans of plain tomato sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 clove of minced garlic
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbl red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard

Brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute till fragrant, 30-40 seconds. Add tomato sauce, stir well and reduce heat to low. Add spices, sugar and vinegar and let simmer for a couple minutes. Add peppers and simmer till as thick as you like. Serve on buns.


I have a confession to make. I usually make sloppy joes with canned sauce. I know, I know, but the canned stuff isn't that bad and my girlfriend really likes it. But I've been wanting to make it from scratch, so I did. I looked around the nets and almost all the recipes called for ketchup for at least part of the sauce. I don't know what it is, but using ketchup in a sauce bugs me. So I just tossed this together. It was pretty good, could have maybe used a bit more spices, but I'm wicked congested so I couldn't get a good taste of it and I would rather under season than over season.

First you want to brown the meat and onion. I don't know if I've talked about this before, but browning meat well is the key to good flavor. If you don't have the heat high enough or if you stir it too much it won't get browned and the flavor will be lackluster. So make sure to keep your heat high enough, medium-high is fine for ground beef, and let it sit for a minute or two between stirring. It really works out better that way. Once it's good and brown add the garlic and just cook it for a minute. You don't want the garlic to burn, that makes it bitter and gross. Now reduce the heat to low and add the tomato sauce. I decided to use tomato sauce because I don't feel it for ketchup (as I mentioned before) and I didn't want to deal with diced tomatoes. Although, if you like chunks go ahead and use diced tomatoes. They will break down a little bit but leave behind big pieces of tomato and some people like that. Stir it around a bit and add the spicessugar and vinegar. Like I said before, a little more spice would probably have been good but it really was fine just how it was. If you want you can toss in the peppers now, but I wanted them a bit on the crisp side so I added them later. No matter when you add them you want to let it simmer for a while, till as thick as you want it. I did it for about 10 minutes. And that's it, serve it on buns. Or pasta. Sloppy joe stuff is good on pasta.


The Brutal Gourmet said...

Good stuff, Bob, but did you actually just say "let it sit for a minute or two between stirring" to promote browning? You? Mr. "But I must stir it!"?

You know, I can't believe I have never done this myself. I mean, it is a fundamental. Speaking of which, do you know if the girls are going apple picking next weekend? We can do a huge pie collaboration...

Spryte said...

I made the canned stuff tonight! But I was thinking that I'd like to try making it from scratch too!

Bob said...

Thanks Brutal. Heh, yeah, I do need to stir. But now I let it brown first, it really does make it taste better.

Hi Spryte! The canned stuff has the advantage of being really fast. And there isn't anything wrong with it, homemade is just better. :)

Elle said...

I adore sloppy joes! And i've never made homemade, but I think I'm going to try it. My kids keep bugging me to, as well. They look great! I hope you're feeling better!

Bob said...

Thanks Elle! I've actually caught another cold, but it could be worse. Comes from working in a pharmacy I think. Heh. According to my girlfriend (and the leftovers I had a couple days later) these came out wicked good. If you try out this recipe let me know how it turns out.

Elle said...

Bob! Made these last night--they were a huge success. We loved them! Even fought over the leftovers, hehe. Thanks for a great recipe!

Bob said...

Elle: Yay! That's what I like to hear :D


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