Sloppy joes made from scratch in the crockpot, that familiar, comfort-food favorite from our childhoods that somehow still tastes so good. A great make-ahead recipe for feeding a crowd or hungry fishermen.
Who shudders from memories of the school lunches of our childhoods? So many suffered from bland, overcooked and mushy food slapped onto trays in big glopsfuls. Appetizing, yes?
But who smiles? I remember fresh bread hot from the oven during the USDA wheat surplus and my first taste of chocolate milk, a treat on Fridays in grade school, poured cold and dark from a white-tubed milk stainless steel milk dispenser. I salivate at the memory of fresh-fried fish, real filets, not ‘fish sticks’, with homemade mashed potatoes and red slaw. (Admittedly, that last was in a Finnish high school, not the U.S.)
In Minnesota, the school lunch menu was published in the local paper. I’d scan for my favorite lunch, sloppy joes. Talk about kid-friendly food – though when I served sloppy joes to a mostly grown-up group last week, everyone went back for seconds.
What makes these sloppy joes “Minnesota” sloppy joes? In Minnesota, sloppy joes are always served with hamburger dills and potato chips. If you’re like me, you tuck them right inside the bun.
MINNESOTA SLOPPY JOES
Time to table: 6 hours
Serves 4, easily doubled or tripled for a crowd
- 1 pound ground turkey or lean ground beef
- 3/4 cup ketchup (see TIPS)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon mustard (yellow ‘ballpark’ mustard works fine)
- To taste, chopped onion
- To taste, chopped celery
- Buns, preferably toasted
- Hamburger pickles
- Potato chips
In a skillet, cook the meat til done, breaking apart into small clumps as it cooks. (For double or triple batches, cook the meat in a couple of skillets for more surface area.) Meanwhile, collect all the remaining ingredients in a slow cooker. Stir in the cooked meat, cover and cook on high, stirring occasionally if possible, for 4 – 5 hours, longer is fine too. Can be made ahead and rewarmed for later. Freezes well.
To serve, scoop meat onto a bottom bun, top with pickles and chips, put the top hat on. Serve and savor and – yes – smile.
More Beefy Favorites
More Minnesota Recipes
Recent Favorites from A Veggie Venture
~ Mixed Fruit & Vegetable Salad ~
~ Pickled Beet Dip ~
~ Fire-Charred Tomatoes ~
© Copyright 2009 Kitchen Parade