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Easy Sloppy Joes

Here is what I generally use for ingredients:  

-ground pork,

-pork stew cubes,

-tomato sauce (home-made or store bought)

-seasonings (think salt, pepper, mustard, garlic, onions, dash of balsamic vinegar, etc.)

 

Amounts: I use about 450g of ground pork and 450g of stew cubes to feed my family of five. That amount of meat needs roughly 500ml of tomato sauce, and then season to taste. It’s easy to increase this recipe when feeding a larger crowd. Sloppy Joes are really best made with pork. 

 

Cooking time: It’s about the same regardless of which prep method below that you use. In the summer, I set the slow cooker on the porch so I’m not adding heat to the house as it cooks for 4 - 5 hours. In the cooler seasons, I might use the oven, and if I’m using a good covered roasting pan, I can crank the heat and it’s ready sooner, about 2 or 3 hours. Larger amounts may need longer cooking times.  

 

Fast preparation method:
Add into a slow cooker (or a roasting pan that has a lid), the tomato sauce and any seasonings that you like. Then dump frozen blocks of meat in, set it on high, and walk away.

It’s a good idea to stir everything up around the 3-hour mark when everything is hot and the meat has thawed. This is also a good time to add more salt or other seasonings if required.  

Cooking time is about 4 – 5 hours, or until the meat is tender.  Eat as is, or pile it high on a bun, rice, or greens.   

 

Slow preparation method:  
Thaw the meat in the fridge overnight. 

In a generous amount of bacon fat, sauté some onions. Before the onions are translucent, add some seasonings. I like to add garlic, salt, pepper, ground bay leaves, and a bit of mustard powder. 

When the onions are translucent, transfer them to the slow cooker or roasting pan.  

Using the hot pan and seasoned fat, sear the stew cubes, then add them to the dish you will be cooking in. Repeat with the ground meat, but don’t let the ground meat get crispy, then add to the cooking dish.

Add tomato sauce to the mixture of seasoned fat, onions and meat, and to this add some ketchup or a dash of balsamic vinegar.  

Cook everything in the slow cooker or covered roasting pan until the stewing meat is tender.   

Eat as is, or pile it high on a bun, rice, or greens.   

 

Variations & tips:  

-Some crispy crumbles of bacon are a great topping for this 

-I love to add some cumin, curry, and ground coconut to this for a savoury treat. Add this to the fat when sautéing the onions. 

-Searing the meat first will seal in the juices, whereas adding the meat frozen may make the stew cubes seem a bit dry by the end of cooking.

-If you are feeding a big crowd, try a mixture of veal, beef, and pork. 

-If you are clueless about how much seasoning to add to things, try adding a packet of taco seasoning or a packet of Italian seasoning.  

-If it looks like there isn’t enough moisture when it’s part way done cooking, you can add more tomato sauce or some bone broth. 

-Grated carrot, chopped greens, or diced peppers are a nice addition to this.

-Want to add some liver to your kids diet? Mince some up very fine and add when sautéing the onions. They will never know its in the final dish.

-You can add various types of cheeses towards the end (a mix of cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan is nice, and adding some cream cheese makes a lovely addition too), and use this as a sloppy pizza fondue using a broken up loaf of bread for dipping. 

-for the keto and gluten free folks, skip the bun and just eat this out of a bowl like stew.  

This entry is related to the following products. Click on any of them for more information.
Onion, Garlic, Tomato, Stew Meat,