The Simple Beauty of Sloppy Joes

by arnold on February 10, 2007

Sloppy JoesI had sloppy joes for dinner tonight after picking up a can of Del Monte Sloppy Joe sauce at 99 Ranch Market of all places. I didn’t have any hamburger buns or regular bread lying around, but there was a worthy substitute in the kitchen…pan de sal. Yes, the Filipino sweet rolls, which I usually prefer with peanut butter, were perfect. I had the mini-sized pan de sal so I made a bunch of little sloppy joes. My wife had one, too, but preferred hers over rice, which is also tasty.

While Googling some pictures of sloppy joes, I came upon this interesting recipe from Ming Tsai, and as usual, he gives it a little Asian twist. (picture courtesy of Back of the Box.)

Asian Sloppy Joes
by Ming Tsai
Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 medium red onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup celery cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 jalapeños, stemmed and minced, or 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or hot sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
8 ounces chopped roma tomatoes, canned or fresh
1 1/2 cups Hoisin-Lime Sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 to 6 hamburger buns
1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded

1. Heat a large deep, heavy saucepan over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onions, celery, and jalapeños and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and pork and brown lightly, breaking up any clumps with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and the Hoisin-Lime Sauce and season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer and cook until cooked down and thickened enough to mound when ladled, 30 to 45 minutes.

3. Toast the buns and place a bottom half on each serving plate. Top with some of the lettuce, large scoops of the sloppy joe mixture, and more lettuce. Place the top buns over the contents and serve.

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