Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Best (Open-faced) Sloppy Joes with Oven Fried Potato Wedges

Good morning!  I just want to start off by saying that I feel like I haven't been the most dedicated blogger recently. :( With summer comes lots of fun things ~ like gardening, frequent family visits ~ that sometimes keeps me from blogging as much as I like.  I will always come back, though!  Thanks so much to everyone who stops by for a visit.  I am overwhelmed by the interest that my little blog and humble family favorites receive!  May the Lord bless you on this beautiful day!

I guess just about everyone has eaten "Manwich" before.  Remember the stuff in the can?   Growing up we would eat it occasionally, and I would like it just fine (no complaints Mom!:)  I haven't had that in a long time...Well, a couple of years ago I began making homemade sloppy joes for my husband and I, and now they are in the "rotation of recipes" I make on a fairly regular basis.  It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago had I tried out this particular recipe for sloppy joes, and it is by far the best!!!   They are cooked down thick and savory with just the right amount of herbs and spices!  Mmm, they will kinda soak into your bun and are oh, so good with some cheese melted right on top! 

This may look like it has several ingredients, but I like to get them all out in the beginning of my cooking so I'm not fumbling through the fridge or pantry when I'm supposed to be adding to the recipe--and that makes cooking this meal simple and easy.  Really, I do mean that!  It's a good recipe to have on hand for a family meal and quick enough for the weeknight!  I make mine with onion and green pepper, but you can substitute the pepper with carrot if you like, or even just use the carrot in addition.  I use Laura's Lean Ground Beef when I make this, so there is very little fat.  This recipe can be pretty healthy when you look at all of the veggies, use lean ground beef, whole wheat bun, and minus the cheese or use just a little like we did here(...even though my thighs would LOVE them to be smothered in cheese)!

Seriously, these sloppy joes are a dinner that grown-ups and kids alike will enjoy!  We ate them with my oven fried potato wedges to make a truly finger licking meal!   

The Best Sloppy Joes

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. chopped bell pepper
(you can sub minced carrots, too!)

1 c. chopped onion (1 medium)

2 cloves garlic, minced


1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef

1/2 c. ketchup

2 c. tomato sauce

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 tbsp. brown sugar

pinch ground cloves

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

pinch cayenne pepper

Ground black pepper

4 hamburger buns

Colby jack cheese, shredded or sliced

(Yes, there's a lot of ingredients, but don't let that scare you away! It's so tasty!)

1. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet -that's what I use anyway- on medium high heat.  Add the peppers--or carrots-- and saute for 5 minutes.   Add the chopped onion.  Cook stirring occasionally until onions are translucent, about 5 more minutes.  Add minced garlic and cook for about 30 more seconds.  Remove from heat.  Remove vegetables from the pan to a bowl and set aside.

2.  Using the same pan, (or you can cook the meat at the same time as the veggies in a separate pan to save time...but I did it this way), generously salt the bottom of the pan.  Heat the pan on high.  Crumble the ground beef into the pan.  You will likely need to do this in two batches, otherwise you will crowd the pan and the beef won't brown easily.  Do not stir the beef, just let it cook until it is well browned on one side.  Then, flip the pieces over and brown the second side.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the ground beef from the pan (veggies in the bowl), salt the pan again and repeat with the rest of the meat.

If you are using extra lean beef, you will not have any excess fat in the pan.  If you are using 16% or higher, you may have excess fat.  Strain off all but 1 Tbsp. of the fat. ( I think I strained it all out!!)

3.  Return ground beef and vegetables to the pan.  Add the ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and brown sugar to the pan.  Stir to mix week.  Add ground cloves (I used cinnamon since it was on hand), thyme, and cayenne pepper.  Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer for at least 10 minutes so that the flavors will meld together and it will thicken up a bit!

Serve on toasted hamburger buns ~ or in my case, hot dog buns! Ha!~ and immediately smother with as little or as much cheese as you like.

Oven Fried Potato Wedges

 Russet Potatoes, washed and unpeeled, cut in wedges

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Garlic powder

Honestly friends, I don't measure any of this out now that I've made these so many times!  On a lightly sprayed pan, toss potatoes in a little olive oil.  You don't want them swimming in it!!  Be generous with the salt and pepper, and use as much garlic powder as you like.  Toss it all together well and bake in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Don't stir while in the oven for crispy fries. YUM!

I'm linking up with:



Red Couch Recipes said...

I haven't made sloppy joes in so long, but growing up they were a staple with get togethers with my cousins. I am bookmarking this -- I think my children will enjoy. I know what you mean about having a hard time blogging in the summer, but that is the beauty of it, don't you think -- blog when you can and when you can't -- that's okay. Joni

Leslie said...

Joni, it's a rather nostalgic meal for me too! I think your children will enjoy this one.
I agree with you about "the beauty" of blogging ~ that's a really good point ~ thanks for sharing with me! :)

Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) said...

Wow! It looks so yummy! My children love it soooo much! Nice shots too. Thanks for sharing:)
Hope to see you on my blog:)

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

Dinner's at your house, right? Yum!

shopannies said...

gonna give this a try reminds me of one of our favorites the horseshoe come see me at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

Desi said...

Looks delish. Silly question, but how do you cut your potatoes into wedges? Everytime I try, I feel like they turn out as wierd shapes.