Beef, Mince

Italian Sloppy Joes

Serves: 4

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.

Until tonight….

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.

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus 1 extra halved
500gm beef mince
350ml passata
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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Spoon the meat mixture over the toasted rolls and enjoy.
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Beef, Healthy, Sauces

Burger in a Bowl

Serves: 4

This is a crazy recipe and on so many fronts.

It is so cheezly good that if you got it in some chain restaurant in the States, you’d go back once a week just to have it for lunch.

Essentially a burger without the bun, it is so whacking with flavour, so filling and so relatively healthy, words don’t describe. And where I say it is a burger without a bun, it is literally an American chain burger without a bun.

Or cheese or grease.

The ‘SW Super Sauce’ is the hero here and we didn’t change a thing except substitute firm, fat-free yogurt for the fromage frais… and nobody would notice.

We dialed up the beef by adding ground coriander, cumin, smoked paprika and chilli powder and I would suggest you do the same.

To say that this is a must-try, out-of-the-ordinary, you-will-love-it meal is an understatement.

Go with the terrible iceberg lettuce, use some spiced gherkin and take the night off from anything fancy.

This is a burger… without the bun… in a bowl.

Ingredients

Burger

1 tsp canola oil
500gm extra lean beef mince
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Plenty of salt and pepper
Whatever spices you think, though flavour and spice it up

Salad

½ iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
8 gherkins, sliced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

SW Super Sauce

3 tbsp extra-light mayonnaise
5 tbsp fat free fromage frais
1 tbsp American mustard
2 tbsp tomato puree (passata)
2 tsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp onion granules
¼ tsp sweet smoked paprika

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan; add the beef, onion and garlic and stir fry for 6 – 7 minutes until the beef is browned and the onion has softened.
  2. Meanwhile, put all the SW Super Sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Mix together the salad ingredients and divide between 4 bowls. Spoon the beef mixture on-top, drizzle over the SW Super Sauce and serve hot.
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