Honestly, who doesn’t secretly love a sloppy joe? But I have to say, the sloppy joe gets kind of a bum rap, and is totally under appreciated. So I thought, why not give it a little attention.
Let’s face it, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, is sort of forgettable to be National Sloppy Joe Day. Or is it the perfect day? What could be better than an ooey gooey messy sloppy joe. Especially when I have the perfect Custom Spice Blends from The Spice & Tea Exchange® to show respect to this humble sandwich.
After I’ve browned and drained my ground beef of excess fat and thrown in chopped onions, garlic, and green and red bell peppers, it’s time to decide what direction to take my sloppy joe.
**Some of my favorite flavor profiles, come from a combination of Matanzas Chili Spice Blend, with deep rich spicy chili flavor and the sweet caramelized onion notes of Sweet Onion Sugar.
**For more of a south of the border twist, I’ll use a combination of Southwest Spice Blend and kick the heat up a few notches with Habanero Sugar.
**Jamaican Jerk Spice Blend and Mango Habanero Sugar adds an array of Caribbean spices and sweetness for sloppy joes with an island vibe.
**Or bring on the down-home Midwest BBQ flavors from Smokehouse Rub.
I add 1-2 TBS. of my desired Custom Spice Blend and 1-2 TBS. Flavored Sugar per pound of ground beef mixture. Stir into the pot and let the flavors blossom for 2-3 minutes, before mixing in 1 ½ cups of ketchup, and 2 TBS. of tomato paste. Optional 2-4 TBS. brown sugar will help for those who like their “joes” on the sweeter side.
Once my mixture has simmered over a medium-low heat for 15 minutes, I add ¾-1 cup water, to achieve my preferred consistency. A final taste and adjustment of flavor with additional Custom Spice Blend if needed and I’m ready to assemble. From a simple bun, to sloppy joe biscuit bake*, or a grilled cheese sloppy joe*, there’s no shortage of possibilities when paying homage to this often forgotten, silent sandwich satisfier.
*Sloppy Joe Biscuit Bake – Pre-heat oven per prepared biscuit mix directions. Combine ingredients to make biscuit batter. Spray a standard casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Fill dish with sloppy joe mixture and top with biscuit mix. Bake per biscuit directions. Serve.
*Grilled Cheese Sloppy Joe – Prepare your favorite grilled cheese, adding sloppy joe mixture throughout the middle of sandwich. Make sure to add layers of cheese below and above sloppy joe mixture.
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by Chef Stefan
About the Chef: Chef Stefan is the Corporate Chef for The Spice & Tea Exchange®. Currently, co-owner of the San Francisco and Portland locations, Stefan is also a passionate food lover, trained chef, and culinarian. Stefan advanced both his culinary skills and knowledge of global flavors through his passion for traveling (60+ countries around the world). His formal education spans from San Francisco’s Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy to San Francisco Baking Institute and S.F. Cooking School.