Sloppy Joe's

I'm back! After being away for several weeks getting married and taking an eating tour through Italy (aka - honeymoon) - I am back in Texas and back in the kitchen. 

While I was sad to leave Italy and leave behind food like this:

 and this:
 I decided to continue my eating tour when I returned, and kicked it off with something more American: the Sloppy Joe. of my all-time favorites.

I made these with a mix of beef and pork; you need the fat from the beef, and the more interesting and delicious flavor from the pork. Everything from there became a blur, I throw ingredients into my sloppy joe's like a bat out of hell. I will reconstruct the recipe to the best of my ability, but much of it is up to your taste. I prefer a sweeter joe with a bit of an edge. 

Here is the line up:

 And the two teams:
I realize that is not a very flattering picture, but they weren't in the mood for being photographed.

Start by browning the meat...
Generously salt and pepper, then drain a little of the fat if you like.  You will need most of it, however, to cook the onion and pepper you are about to add.

Mix in the red bell pepper and onion.  Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Next, start mixing in the sauce ingredients. I start with the tomato paste and sauce, followed by red wine, red wine vinegar, garlic, worcestshire, and mustard. It usually looks something like this.
Stir the mixture until combined; this part is particularly satisfying. It's a miracle in the making. Finally, add the brown sugar and spices. Let the flavors marinate for another 5 minutes over low-medium heat.....
...and you end up with something so amazingly delicious it will make you want to quit your day job and eat these full time. 

I served these with homemade fried onion rings and bbq baked beans.....ahhhh America gives Italy a run for its money.

Recipe (for 4):

3/4 lb ground sirloin
3/4 lb ground pork
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 c red wine
3 T. red wine vinegar
3 T. ketchup
3-4 T. worcestshire, to taste
2-3 T. yellow mustard, to taste
3 T. brown sugar
pinch minced garlic
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. paprika
One small squeeze of your favorite BBQ sauce (optional)
12 Slider Buns

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