The term “Manwich” has always been equilavent to the phrase “sick nasty” in my book. Sloppy Joes have traditionally ranked up there with my notion of bad meatloaf. Just bad ones…I don’t mind a good one every now and then. However, I decided to give this poor man’s entree a try again, albeit the non-canned, non-processed, veggie-rich, grass-fed beef version. Why? Simply, my husband loves them and my kids will eat them.
Tonight’s Super Sloppy Joes Review: Kids ate them with no prodding! My husband thought they were flavorful, wants me to make this recipe again, but asked for the veggie chunks to be smaller next time. As for me…well, actually I didn’t mind them. They weren’t greasy at all, like my former experiences. I would like to try ground chicken next time just to cut down on the saturated fat, though.
For my own version, I combined Rachael Ray’s and Ellie Krieger’s Sloppy Joe recipes, while making a few of my own changes. We put our meat/veggie mixture on mini whole wheat buns and served them with oven fries and salad.
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons all-natural steak seasoning
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar or sucanat
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped or grated
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 (8 ounce) cans unsalted tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- salt, to taste
- 4 whole wheat hamburger buns (or 8 mini buns)
- Optional: cheddar cheese slices
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil and ground beef to the pan. Spread the meat around the pan and begin to break it up while it cooks.
- Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add this mixture to the meat while it cooks. When the meat has browned, remove from pan to drain oil.
- Wipe pan out. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan. Then, reduce heat to medium and add carrot, onion, red peppers, garlic, red wine vinegar, and Worcestershire to the skillet. Cook until veggies are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add cooked meat, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and maple syrup to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer. Season with salt to taste, if needed.
- Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, pile meat mixture onto toasted bun bottoms. Add a slice of cheese, if desired, and top with bun.
Fully cook and cool the Sloppy Joes (do not leave out of refrigerator or freezer more than 2 hours). Place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Try to remove as much air as possible and seal and/or wrap well before placing in the freezer.
To reheat, thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator (preferred method) or in the microwave using the defrost setting. Then, warm over low to medium-low heat on the stove, gently stirring.