As a child of an American mother, Sloppy Joes were something I grew up with.
Essentially mince on toast, spiced with a packet of mix usually from McCormicks, an American food company.
I’ve never had it any other way and every trip back to the States has included a hunt for a dozen packs to bring back home to Australia.
Sloppy Joes are a real American comfort food and served on a toasted bread roll, you really can’t ask for anything more comfortable.
I’d considered doing my own Sloppy Joes though like messing with a Big Mac, I feared messing with what I knew and loved best.
This recipe is Sloppy Joes right down the line.
The ‘Italian’ twist ironically steers it closer to the packet mix version I have always had. Add a toasted bread roll and you’re home.
I guess it is just slightly spiced mince on toast and I know that in itself isn’t amazing.
I hope however that my boys come to love Sloppy Joes as much as I do and that it becomes part of their childhood like it was mine.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus 1 extra halved
500gm beef mince
1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp coarsely chopped oregano
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 large bread rolls, halved
2 buffalo mozzarella balls, thinly sliced
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and saute the onion and garlic until golden. Add the beef, breaking up and cook until browned and any liquid evaporated.
- Add the passata, stock, oregano, sugar, chilli flakes and fennel seeds, season to taste and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened: an hour or so. Stir in the vinegar and season again to taste.
- Meanwhile, preheat a grill to high and toast the rolls cut side up. Rub the toasted side with the garlic halves, top with the mozzarella cheese and grill until melted.
- Spoon the meat mixture over the toasted rolls and enjoy.