Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sloppy Joes ... Slop, Sloppy Joes.

I vividly remember the first time that I made Sloppy Joes for Brian.  He took one look at them and said "What's this?"

He didn't understand why someone would make homemade Sloppy Joes from scratch when Manwich exists.  Growing up in a household where most things were made from scratch, I had no idea that Manwich even existed.

When Brian told me that he preferred the Manwich, I wasn't shocked.  This is the same man that prefers Jiffy Blueberry muffins to homemade muffins with fresh blueberries.  Prego to homemade spaghetti sauce.  Chewy Chips Ahoy to homemade chocolate chip cookies (that one I can't blame him for .... I'm not great at chocolate chip cookies).

I don't take it personally.  I know it's not about my cooking.  It's just what he's grown up with and what he prefers.  And really, it works out well for me because the prepackaged stuff is just less work.

But lately, I've been more focused on feeding my family fewer prepackaged foods ... and after almost 7 years of marriage, I'm more comfortable saying "Hey, sorry you don't like it as much, but it's better for you.  So suck it up buttercup."

I've had a hankerin' for some good, hearty Sloppy Joes lately, so I turned to the Pioneer Woman's Sloppy Joe recipe for a starting point.  Of course, I used what I had and adapted as needed and holy sweet peppers was it a hit.  Hubby loved it, I loved it, the boys ... well, they all took bites.  They're in an annoying food-strike phase.

Yep, that's a paper plate.  We're fancy ya'll.

Sloppy Joes
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

2.5 pounds ground beef
1 (large) onion - diced
1/2 green pepper - diced
5 mini sweet peppers - diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp garlic salt (or to taste)
2 cups ketchup
3/4 cups beef broth
1/4 cups water
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp honey mustard
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Worcestershire to taste - maybe 3 tbsp?
salt/pepper to taste

In a large skillet, cook beef, peppers, onions, garlic powder & garlic salt until meat is browned.  Drain grease.  Add ketchup, beef broth, water and stir.  Add brown sugar, chili powder, honey mustard, red pepper flakes, and Worcestershire.  Stir well.  Taste test and add salt, pepper, more Worcestershire, garlic ... whatever sounds good.  I'm very much a go-with-the-flow kinda cook.  Let it simmer for a bit to let the flavors really kick up.

Throw nice big spoonful onto a nice hearty bun, and add a slice a cheese if you're an addict like me.  De-lish.  I think I may see an end to our Manwich days.  Or at least a decrease in them!