Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Recipe: Sloppy Joes

One of our favourite places in Edinburgh is the Games Hub; a cafe on Lauriston Place where you can pay £2.50 to stay as long as you want, and play as many board games as possible. They serve very reasonably priced food, from standards like toasties and wraps, to their soup and dish of the day. Their dish of the day is often Sloppy Joes, which is where I was first introduced to this meal. After having it a couple of times at the Games Hub, I determined to figure out how to make it myself, but struggled to find a recipe that I completely liked the look of. I ended up combining several recipes I found online, so I'm afraid I can't credit this one to any one source in particular.

This recipe contains a lot of vinegar and mustard, so if you don't like that much of a tang in your food, you might want to cut down on the quantities of those. You can add more brown sugar to off-set the vinegar if you do find you use too much.

We usually top our Sloppy Joes with extra mature cheddar cheese (which is the standard cheese that you can always find in our fridge), but on this occasion we used Velveeta. Ages ago, I asked a Texan friend what Velveeta was, since I'd seen it mentioned in a couple of recipes. Recently she posted us a box so we could try it. It's basically like a big block of the individual cheese slices you typically put on top of burgers, which my family always referred to as "plastic cheese". It actually works really well with Sloppy Joes!

Sloppy Joes
Serves: 4
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cook. Time: 10-15 minutes

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 bird's eye chillies, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 pepper, deseeded and chopped (bell or sweet)
3 ribs of celery, chopped
500g of minced beef
1 (500g) carton of passata
1 (400g) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup of ketchup
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1.5 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tbsp of white vinegar
1 tbsp of cider vinegar
2 tsp of dijon mustard
1 tsp of American mustard
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
8 burger buns (two per person)
Cheese of choice, sliced

1. Heat some oil in a large saucepan and fry the garlic, chillies, onion, pepper and celery until the onion and celery starts to soften and turn translucent.
2. Add the mince and cook until browned.
3. Add the passata and kidney beans and stir until combined. Then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, vinegars, mustards, cayenne pepper and any seasoning you desire before stirring the mixture again.
4. Simmer until the sauce and beans are hot. While the mixture simmers, toast your burger buns--either in the toaster or under the grill. 
5. On a grill-safe plate, top each half of the burger bun with some of the sloppy joe mixture, before adding some cheese. Place under the grill until the cheese melts and begins to bubble.
6. Serve with hot sauce, if desired! 

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