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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

sneaky sloppy joes

sloppy joes

These sloppy joes will trick you into eating healthy. I saw the idea on food network some time ago, where you replace some of the red meat in your normal sloppy joe base with equally filling, high protein and fiber-packed beans. Technically, ground beef with beans probably makes it chili though...? Either way, these turned out great. Even A, an avid bean-hater, said the beans just sneaked into the sandwich without him even noticing.

Grocery list: one pound ground sirloin, one can kidney or pinto beans (drained and rinsed well), 1 can tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, tabasco, yellow mustard, 1 red bell pepper, 1 onion, 3-4 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup brown sugar, olive oil.

beef and onion for slppy joe base

Chop the onion. Preheat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the onion and the beef. Stir to break the meat apart.

adding pepper and garlic to beef base

Chop the pepper and mince the garlic while the beef cooks. After about 5 minutes, the onions will start to turn translucent and the beef will be about half cooked. Add the pepper and garlic.

seasoning for sloppy joe filling

While the peppers start to soften, add a generous splash of both worcestershire and red wine vinegar (1-2 tablespoons each). Measure out half a cup of brown sugar and open up the tomato sauce.

beans sugar tomato sauce paste for joes

After the peppers have cooked about 5 minutes, the beef should be cooked all the way. Now you can add the can of tomato sauce (that's about 2 cups), plus 2 T tomato paste. I also added a generous squirt of french's yellow mustard, since that's how my mom always made it, plus a shake of tabasco to taste. Stir in the brown sugar, then season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

finished sloppy joes

If you have the time, you can turn off the finished dish and let it sit there for a while (an hour, whatever) and the flavors keep melding together - just reheat when it's time to serve. Split fresh hamburger rolls, toast them under a broiler, and pile the filling in. Serve with lots of Frank's Red Hot or tabasco. (Do you see these buns? I made them! I'm working on fresh bread now - more on that when I'm confident enough to share...)

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