I’m all about effortless, super easy, healthy, and flavourful dishes.
And I am not talking about an easy balance between all four. I want it ALL and to the extreme.
Working full-time in an office, as well as blogging full-time means that time is a major luxury.
For whatever reason, a few weeks ago, I was CRAVING sloppy joes something fietce. I googled some recipes, and none of them were up my alley. A little too sweet, wayyy too saucy for my taste.
I decided to take matters in my own hands.
Now, I love red meat – to be real, it’s my favourite. However, I love it on it’s own. I’m talking a good classic burger (love a 75/25 grind for this) or a grilled steak. I like the beef flavour to shine on it’s own.
As far as ground meat, I’m a big ground turkey fan. I find it is way easy to spice up. Same with ground chicken.
For added flavour, the very first thing I do is fry up some bacon. This is for two reasons. One, to render off some of the fat to cook with (hello flavour), and two, to add in some added deliciousness. Crumble it up into bite size pieces and add prior to serving an extra savory crunch!
This is totally optional, but you can’t beat the flavour.
If you omit this, olive oil will do with a chopped shallot.
After the bacon has cooked, drain off (I keep all extra bacon fat in a jar in my fridge) and save about 1 tbsp of it.
Now, let’s get started!
Next, you need the vegetables! I use a mix of garlic, carrots, green peppers, and celery.
You can easily add in some red onion. If I wasn’t cooking for an onion hater, I absolutely would!
Then, you add in the meat of choosing, brown it, add in the flavours & sauce (more on that in a sec), spices, and let it simmer for 20-60 minutes. The longer it simmers, the more flavourful it gets.
Now, this might be a lil controversial, but when I use ground poultry, I use white meat, and add in some extra fat, like olive oil, to keep things from drying. It’s a weird thing I have and I am not a huge dark meat person. Never have been since I was little. By all means, use whatever you want.
Now, it’s very important to just brown the meat, you don’t want it fully cooked since you will let it simmer for a bit. It should look a little like this:
It will continue to cook and absorb the flavours as it simmers, so if you filly cook it, it will be crumbly & dry which is as unappealing as it sounds.
Now, I LOVE dishes like this because while it simmers is when I can get all sorts of work done. Knock out some e-mails? Check. Organize my calendar? Check. Take and edit photos? Check. It’s the perfect way to focus on whatever task you need to tackle. Before you know it, dinner is ready & you have gotten so much work done!
Now, let’s talk seasoning. I use a mix of chili powder, mustard powder, cumin, and cayenne.
The mustard powder I find really adds a je ne sais quoi to the dish.
I highly recommend it. Lots of added freshness and zing.
Cumin lends to the smokyness, chili powder the flavour, and cayenne for some sexy heat.
Mix it all in with the browned meat and veggies.
Next, the sauce! So I cheat on this and use ketchup and a lil bit of worchestshire (going to be completely transparent but I totally forgot to add it in the pics. My b yall). HOWEVER, I only use about 1/4 a cup. At most.
I also am very in particular in my ketchup and love love love the Sir Kensignton’s brand. It’s all natural, not sweet at all, and I use the spiced one which adds a lil jalapeno spice to it. What can I say, I like it hot.
Can’t forget the next part!
My secret ingredient….
Yes, of course, had to give it the Shannon touch. Nothing more comforting than some bacon and bourbon – remember this chili?
It just works, pour a shot for yourself too while you’re at it. I always do.
Once it’s ready, top with some shredded greens and dig in. I like mine with pretzel bread, pickles, and sauerkraut (specifically this Garlic Dill Pickle kraut – OBSESSED).
You can serve it on a baked potato, in pita bread, on plain ole sliced bread, over some spaghetti squash, with rice.
Really, you can have it however you want.
Now… like all my recipes, this is completely versatile.
Prefer another meat? go for it!
Want to make it vegetarian? Nix the meat and use lentils mixed with some chopped mushrooms.
As far as spices, use whatever you want.
Seriously. Do what you want.
Oh, as far as wine, highly recommend Pinot!
Oh and the name…
SO I was telling Erik how much I hated the name “sloppy joes” and I wanted him to help me out with a name for the blog. We threw some out there and then as a joke, he was like “can you please call it loosey goosies?!” and I LOVED that so it stuck!
And don’t forget to mise-en-place! Seriously, it is a major time saver and once prepped, all you have to do is throw it in and go. Super easy clean up. Seriously.
Anyways, enjoy! Let me know if you give this a go! Show me how you work that. Tag me on Insta and use the hashtag #champagneatshannons