sloppy joes with bacon and simple slaw.

April 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

I got a new camera, finally–my first since 2008!   A Canon EOS Rebel 3Ti!  In full disclosure, I haven’t the slightest idea how to use it.  I am just beginning to read the manual and surf through the dozens of buttons and shooting options.  But I managed to attach the lens and take some photos using the automatic setting.

To celebrate this I made some pretty epic sloppy joe sandwiches.

I should probably mention that prior to making these sandwiches, I refused to eat sloppy joes.  I used to think of it as a mysterious beef mixture, and I just didn’t want any part of it.  That might be because I hadn’t made it myself–I didn’t see how the beef was seasoned and browned; how the sweet and tangy sauce was whisked and boiled.  And, I didn’t realize the potential of using a lightly toasted pretzel bun and some bacon hot off the griddle.


Then I decided it needed just a little something more.  So I made a super quick slaw and added a scoop on top.


Um, YES.

My personal advice:  Don’t be scared of the Sloppy Joe.

Sloppy Joe’s with Bacon and Simple Slaw

Adapted from Simply Scratch [I followed her family recipe for the sloppy joe meat, but made some substitutions based on what I had in my pantry!  In parens, I noted if I used something different.]

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat or olive oil
  • 1 yellow or red onion, diced
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef, thawed/uncooked
  • 1 and 1/2 cups, ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 tablespoon yellow mustard (or honey mustard)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • dash of paprika
  • 4 large hamburger buns or rolls (used pretzel rolls from Trader Joe’s)
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 3-4 cups prepared cabbage coleslaw mix
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise (could also use ranch dressing)

What to do:

Begin by heating a skillet over medium heat.  Cook your bacon until crisp, then drain on paper towels.  Set aside.  Reserve one tablespoon of the liquid from the skillet.

Heat a nonstick Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat.  Add the reserved tablespoon of bacon fat (if you don’t want to use the fat, you can use one tablespoon of olive oil.  but trust me that the bacon fat adds amazing flavor!)

Add your chopped onion to the pot and cook until golden, about 5-8 minutes.  Then, add the ground beef.  Allow the beef to cook until it begins to brown.  I let my beef cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.

While the beef is cooking, you can make your Sloppy Joe sauce.   In a small bowl, add your ketchup, water, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika.  Mix well.  Set aside.

Also prepare your simple slaw:  Mix the prepared slaw with your chopped green onions and a tablespoon of mayonnaise.  Less is more–you can always add more mayo if you need it.  Set aside.

Turn your attention back to the beef!  Once the beef is fully cooked, remove it from the pot using a slotted spoon.  I transferred the beef/onion mixture to a large bowl, allowing the grease to drain.  Once all meat has been removed, drain the grease and discard. 

Return the meat to the pot.  Pour in the sauce.  Stir well to combine.  Allow the beef and sauce to come to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.  After the beef has simmered, let it cool slightly before preparing your sandwiches.

Slice your rolls in half and warm on a grill pan for 2-3 minutes.  Top rolls with a heaping serving of Sloppy Joe mixture, a piece or two of bacon, and spoonful of slaw.



An added bonus for you–the first official food photo taken with my new camera.

I call this Ty meets Sloppy Joe.


Note: This recipe could make 6 reasonably portioned sandwiches.  But with this guy around, I got about 3 massive sandwiches from one recipe.


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