A fast and tasty recipe for Sloppy Joes

Coming up with new ideas for dinner is like the freakin’ 12 labors of Hercules – a never ending cycle of torment. It’s got to be fast (because it is 6 p.m. by the time we all drag ourselves home, and everyone is a major grouch, some more than others). The added bonus is finding something Victor with his oral aversion/food issues can eat.

Consistency helped, and for a long while I embraced the sameness. Once Victor could eat ground beef there were seemingly endless possibilities, although the only two dishes he would eat reliably were pasta bolongese (OK, I won’t lie, ground beef mixed with Classico pasta sauce) and tacos. So every Tuesday was taco night and every Thursday was pasta night. Took a load off me, because I keep the freezer stocked with yummy ground beef from Tara Firma Farms (all grass fed). Brown the meat, throw in the mixings, and dinner is served.

The only problem? After 2 years of Tuesday taco night my husband and I just couldn’t take it anymore. Not one more bite of beef Tacos. We do an occasional burger under the broiler, but we needed another ground beef standard to throw into the mix.

And that’s when we hit on Sloppy Joes, but those mixes are nasty and way over priced for what you get (never mind the mystery chemicals). After scouring the Internet for ideas I produced this recipe out of necessity (i.e. that’s all I had in the cupboard. I suppose I could have experimented with pureed tomatoes or paste, but I am trying to balance speed and convenience here and I didn’t have any on hand). This takes less than 15 minutes to make and tastes quite good considering the ingredients can be found at any camp ground.

As we had left over Mac and Cheese (I mean, who doesn’t?) my husband had the bright idea of adding it to his sandwich, and so the Sloppy Tony was born!

And when I heard the inevitable, “But I don’t like Sloppy Joes,” I had a quick reply. It’s just meat and ketchup, and you love both those things. ¬†They actually went down well (topping with a few pickles is a must). Another week’s reprieve from taco hell.

Sloppy Joes

1 lb ground beef

1/4 white onion, diced

1/2 tsp garlic powder

3/4 cup Ketchup

1 tsp prepared mustard

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Brown the ground beef and the onion together (if you like, you can add some diced green pepper, but we avoid that like the plague because it makes reflux worse!).

While the meat and onion is cooking, mix the garlic powder, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. When meat is still a little bit pink add the ketchup mixture and continue cooking. When cooked through, taste and add more of anything you see fit. Salt typically not needed as ketchup has plenty of salt.

Get some nice buns, pile on the meat, some pickles, and you are good to go. I served it with a side salad for the grown ups.

And the photo? From Tara’s farm. The beef tastes so good!

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