Thursday, March 26, 2009
Earlier this month, at the start of my NaBloPoMo, when I professed my love for sloppy joes, I mentioned that I had finally come up with my own recipe. I promised to find those pictures and post the recipe, and now I am (finally) making good on that promise!
Aside from actually being, hands down, the best Sloppy Joes I've ever had (and oh boy, have I eaten more than my fair share of Sloppy Joes) this was fun and easy to make. They had just enough spice and just the right amount of sweetness for me. I mentioned before, but I'll mention again, that yes, I like to add a can of baked beans into the mix. There are a couple of reasons for that, first, I just really like it and the importance of really liking what you are making just can't be taken for granted, and second, it stretches the recipe a bit further so you get more bang (and more food) for your buck, and certainly, in today's world, the importance of making your ingredients stretch can't be taken for granted either.
The other star of this show was, yes, more homemade hamburger buns. It is a very large batch though, but, instead of trying to downsize, the folks over at King Arthur Flour have taken the guess work out and given directions for just freezing the buns to have on hand. So, I did. Guess what? The very next time I wanted to make burgers, I had homemade buns, ready to go, in the freezer. I just pulled them out to defrost and they were good to go. I mean that. I am actually not a huge fan of frozen/defrosted baked goods most of the time. These were just as good as they were fresh from the oven. A little slice, a little shmear of butter, a little toasting on a hot pan, and voila, we're in business.
One warning though. Once you make these recipes, you'll have a very hard time ever going back to mixes or packets of seasoning or store bought buns ever again. Which is just fine, because this is so easy, you'll never have to. For the recipe for these buns, head over to King Arthur Flour. In case the fact that I've already sung this recipe's praises isn't enough, let me just add that you can use the recipe to make hot dog buns, as well as top these with whatever toppings or seeds strike your fancy. I should also mention that these are just tasty rolls that you can eat with whatever too. An all around winner.
Original Recipe by Holly Hanks @ PheMOMenon
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 large green or red bell pepper (or I used 4 baby sweet bell peppers of assorted color - they were tender and perfect!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon dark or light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water
1 can of your favorite baked beans with liquid (optional)
In a small bowl, combine together the chili powder, cumin, celery salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, and pepper, set aside.
In a large skillet, add the ground beef and cook until browned and well cooked through. Remove the meat to drain and set aside in a bowl. To the skillet add the olive oil and the chopped onions. Cook over medium heat until translucent and getting tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, stir well to combine and cook the garlic about 1 minute more.
Add the hamburger back to the pan and turn heat to low. Add the spices to the pan, along with 1/3 cup water, Worcestershire and tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Add the baked beans if you are using them and stir gently. Allow the entire mixture to simmer and heat through on low, for 10 minutes.
Serve hot on toasted buns, with or without a slice of cheddar cheese and a few tortilla chips on the side. Either way, have some napkins handy.