26 July 2011

(Neat) Sloppy Joes

Dear Lissy,
I've been cooking with ground beef for 20 years when WHAMMO! a new cut of beef shows up at our grocer that's rocking my recipes to a very happy place.  I am quite smitten with Carne Picada, a shredded beef product that gives the flavor and feel of steak but is less expensive than either steak or hamburger.  I've used it in spaghetti sauce, Philly cheese steaks, loaded nachos, chili, beef stroganoff and now (drumroll, please) Sloppy Joes.  "Neat Joes" are a kid favorite because of their mild, pepper-free flavor.  I like them because the thick sauce makes less of a mess (notice I didn't say no mess).  If you can find Carne Picada where you live it's worth a spin in this recipe; but regular ol' ground beef is almost as good.

Neat Sloppy Joes
from allrecipes.com
  • 2 pounds carne picada or lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/4 cup catsup
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 8 hamburger buns 
Place beef in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook until evenly browned, stirring to crumble.  Add onion & celery, cover the pan, and cook until tender and transparent, about 5 minutes.  Drain off any grease.

Stir the undiluted tomato soup, catsup, vinegar, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce into the beef mixture. Season with salt and garlic powder.  Heat to a simmer over low heat, and cook until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.

Spoon the hot beef mixture onto toasted buns.  

Mom's Notes:
  • Leftovers freeze well or can be tossed into chili
  • Sloppy Joe meat is also great over macaroni or rice if you need to feed a crowd. 
  • I like deli slims better than hamburger rolls or kaiser buns.  
  • This recipe is a great one to make up to 2 days ahead, refrigerate, and then reheat at suppertime.  Meals like this can be a lifesaver if you're planning an all day outing to the beach or mountains and  know you'll be coming home hungry and tired.
  • For toddlers or buffet service, serve with split brown 'n' serve rolls.
  • Sloppy joe mix is really, really yummy as an open faced sandwich on broiled garlic bread, too.
  • Don't forget the pickle chips! 
  • For a bulk slow cooker recipe, go here

Sloppy Joes were a "Mom's night" treat while you were growing up.  Dad didn't particularly care for them, probably because of Manwich flashbacks.  If you have nights your sweet hubby is working, try to have a fun dinner the kids don't otherwise get to take some of the sting out of missing Daddy.

 Love you, baby girl!

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