Sloppy Joes

Today we had a big storm, with lots of thunder and lightning and an inch of rain. It was a good evening for Sloppy Joes, so that’s what we had! I found a recipe in a cookbook, but then the more I looked at it the more ideas I had…so this recipe is actually my own creation. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Ingredients:

-1 T olive oil
-1/2 c onion, diced
-1/2 c sweet pepper, diced
-1 stalk celery, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 c tomato product*
1/4 c water
1/4 c ketchup
1 T worcestershire sauce

6 rolls, split (I used the rolls from my pizza dough recipe)
12 thin slices of sharp cheddar cheese

*tomato product: you can use tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, leftover chili, salsa, or whatever you have and is convenient. One of the great things about Sloppy Joes is how flexible they are. This evening I had a quart jar of homemade salsa I wanted to use up, so I put in 1 1/2 c of that. It made for a wonderful flavor base and I would definitely do it again! Just keep in mind that the texture of your finished product will change depending on what you put in.

Directions:

Sauté onion, celery, and pepper in oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When they are cooked to desired softness (remember they will cook a little more in the final stage), pour into a bowl and set aside. Brown ground beef in skillet with a little water, breaking into small pieces. Add vegetables back in, along with the tomato, water, ketchup, and worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until it reaches desired consistency. Since I used salsa and the mixture wasn’t very watery, I cooked it over low heat to blend flavors, but didn’t leave it on very long as it didn’t need to cook down.

Toast the buns cut side up. I served them with a little butter on the bun, sloppy joe, then a slice of cheese on top. I also made french fries with potatoes from our garden, and we had peach pie and homemade ice cream for dessert. What an evening!

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