I believe when Craig Claiborne said, “cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love”, he had Sloppy Joes in mind. This is a dish that brings out the child in you having the pleasure and privilege of being sloppy and not getting told off. I grew up watching Jerry Seinfeld. It was one of the biggest hit sitcoms in the 90’s, where Seinfeld would rant about wittily about relationships and embarrassing situations, putting a pun on almost everything, he would make you laugh with food for thought. Everytime I sit down on my laptop to write my blog one of my most favourite of his food puns always prods my mind where he quipped, “I can never understand why they cook on TV. I can’t smell it. Can’t eat it. I can’t taste it. At the end of the show they hold it up to the camera “Well here it is. You can’t have any. Thanks for watching. Goodbye”. I guess, the same law applies to a written blogged recipe like mine. The point is, if you read a recipe, make it. The one who cooked it, has already had their share. Why should you only droll over the pictures. Isn’t that right.
I call myself no chef, under any circumstances, I am just someone who loves a good morsel of food and I go through a lot of efforts to put forward a pleasant looking, Exuberantly luscious and wholesome dish. If you make it, be it mine or anyone else’s, you are actually acknowledging our efforts whereby you get to enjoy a good dish and I get to soak myself in content. Even so, if you are anything like me who jumps at the opportunity to create something new in the kitchen, and you try a variation of recipes of others posted out there in the vast culinary world, and that aren’t as scrumptious as stated and expected, always remember something good comes out of everything. You learn how to improve it or you opt just to stay away from it next time.
Which, ofcourse brings me to the recipe. No matter how much you think you can’t cook, you can never go wrong with Joes and for that matter Sloppy Joes. This is a food that demands you leave your table decorum and manners elsewhere and enjoy an occasional Sloppy meal. The reason being is ofcourse, the filling just oozes out of the bun which makes the point of the whole dish. Now, as I mention earlier, if there is a recipe you have tried and it just doesn’t spur excitement for you, notch it up. This is exactly what I did with these Sloppy Joes, as the original recipe was a bit too sweet and a little bland in taste for me. I turned these into BBQ Sloppy Joes with some mild spiciness that is perfectly fraternized with the sweetness of the BBC sauce. Also, I added a little cheddar cheese in the meat filling while it was cooking and I would highly recommend eating this with some cucumbers and lettuce. The freshness from the cucumber just takes it to a whole other level of perfectly merged flavours. Lastly, there are two ways to use the buns, eirher toast them in the oven for about 6-8 minutes to get them nice and crunchy or toast them on a fry pan which leave a them soft on the outside with a crisp interior and I used fairly large buns for this recipe.
The crunch of the bun and lettuce and the coolness of the cucumber combined with the BBQ spicy moist and luscious meat filling, is just what you need to pacify your hunger and soak in tranquillity.
If you are tired of your usual every day dinner ideas, then break tradition and get a little sloppy with these BBQ flavoured Sloppy Joes. The filling oozes lusciousness with caramelised onions and red peppers. The delightful earthy flavour owing to the hint of mustard and BBQ sauce with the heat from the green chillies makes this dish inviting.
So, Ready, Steady and go Sloppy —
680g — Beef mince
1 — Onion finely chopped
1 – Red Bell Pepper finely chopped
2 — Green chillies
2 tsp — Garlic minced
BBQ Sloppy Joe Spice Mix ~
1 tsp — Salt
2 tsp — Smoked Paprika
2 tsp — Black Pepper
2 tsp — Onion Powder
2 tsp — Garlic Powder
1 tsp — Brown Sugar
1 tsp — Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp — BBQ Sauce
1 tbsp — Ketchup
2 tsp — Mustard Paste
1 cup – Chopped tomatoes
2 tsp — Chilli Garlic Sauce
2 tbsp — Oil
1/2 cup — Water
4-6 — Buns
Red onion, Lettuce and cucumber
1. Prepare the Meat ~
- In a cooking pan, heat the oil and add the mince. Cook the meat for 6-8 minutes and try to break up the mince as much as possible with a wooden spoon.
- Add the garlic, green chillies, onions and the red bell pepper to the meat and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes chopped, the spice mix and the sauces to the mix, and cook it for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Add water and let it cook for 6-8 minutes or until the water evaporated and the sauce becomes thick.
2. Prepare the Buns~
- Butter the inside of the buns and toast them butter side down on the fry pan.
- (i) If you are toasting on a fry pan, toast butter side down for 2-4 minutes. These will be softer with a crunched interior.
- (ii) If you are toasting in the oven, toast butter side down for 6-8 minutes to make them crisp. These will be crunchier.
Serve with red onion, lettuce and cucumber.