Sloppy Joes – what’s your definition?

What is a Sloppy Joe? Is it:

a) a sandwich of ground beef or mince cooked in a spicy tomato or barbecue sauce and served on a bun.
b) an overlarge, baggy  sweater originally worn by girls and young women in the 1940s.
c) people whose appearance is habitually slovenly. 
If you chose (c) you would be looking at the wrong kind of men, clearly you need to find some eye candy. If your answer was (b), your wardrobe needs a serious make-over.
If however you chose (a) you would be spot on and you would……appreciate this cartoon:

The Original Sloppy Joe Sandwich was invented at Sloppy Joes bar in Key West Florida, but the one I made in my kitchen the other night was as messy and as fun to eat as I am sure that first Sloppy Joe was way back then. Sloppy Joe does sounds like a fun thing to eat doesn’t it? Compared to mince on a bun, it is a no brainer to figure out which option children will choose. My little madam does not like messy food, like a wrap where if it is not folded properly, all the food lands on her lap, or a hamburger which her little hands cannot grab and she ends up with shreds of lettuce on the floor…it drives her crazy and she would just put her plate one side and that’s it. So making Sloppy Joes for supper, was a risk I took, but I was so late and it was just the quickest meal I could think of. The end result was 3 very hungry people who just grabbed and devoured and one very unhappy little girl, eating her mince from a small bowl with a bun on the side. Nevertheless, it was a quick, filling and easy supper to prepare and right now, these three qualities are important to me for survival.

I think it is important to cook a really flavorful mince to which you can add chopped veg or even some corn for extra crunch. I am sure you all have your own way of cooking mince, but in case you don’t, here is mine:
Sloppy Joes
500gr lean mine or ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic – crushed
vegetable oil
1 beef stock cube dissolved in a cup of water
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup of red wine
fresh thyme or rosemary
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp Worcester Sauce
Fry the onions and garlic in a pot with the vegetable oil. When the onion is translucent, add the meat and with a fork, loosen it up and brown slightly. Add all the other ingredients and cook for about 30 minutes. If too dry, add a splash of water. What you want is a thick, reduced, meaty mixture. You can also add:
– chopped vegetables such as potatoes or carrots
– corn kernels
– frozen peas
Serve on a soft bun with shredded lettuce and some chutney or relish.

If this is too messy for you, why not try some of my other ground beef recipes:

For the rest of this week, I will be focusing on Valentine’s Day and prepare yourselves for a chocolate feast. I went to a Chocolate Tasting yesterday at the Wild Peacock and got to taste the most amazing Valrhona Chocolate!