Once in a while when I am feeling quite lazy about making dinner, I pull out my cast-iron skillet and make some sloppy joes for supper. It is an economical, easy and delicious meal to make (I always have ground beef in the freezer, and everything else in the fridge/pantry). We like to eat these over toast, with grated cheese on top – the heat of the food will melt the cheese, making it a warm and comforting meal. You can of course eat them with buns, or however you grew up eating them. I like mine to be well spiced, you will love this from the very first bite. Be sure to serve hot sauce on the side for those who like an extra kick. A green salad rounds out this meal nicely, or you can hide some small frozen veggies in the meat mixture (carrot/corn/peas) – stir in the last few minutes of cooking.
- 1 pound lean or extra lean ground beef
- small drizzle of EVOO
- 1 onion
- 1 heaped teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 bell pepper – chopped (a coloured one preferrably)
- 1 can tomato paste + 2 to 3 cans water
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 3 TB brown sugar
- 1 TB W sauce
- 1 tsp seasoning salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon each: smoked paprika & oregano
- 1 TB mustard (dijon of course in our house)
To serve: toast/buns & grated cheese (I just used marble – cheddar/mozza blend)
Preheat your pan with a drizzle of EVOO on medium. Add in the ground beef, make sure to sear it well, and keep breaking it up, cooking until no pink remains. If there is any fat, drain it off. Now add in the onion, cook until translucent, then add the garlic. Stir well as you cook.
Turn your pan down to medium low. Add in the tomato paste, and 2 cans of water. combine everything well. You can add a bit more water later if needed. Now add in the rest of your ingredients and stir well. Let it come to a simmer (I had to cover mine with the splash guard), and let it bubble for about 20 minutes. It should cook down to a dark red, saucy mixture. Give it a taste, and see what you think. If ready, turn off your pan, and get started on your toast and grated cheese.
Spoon some on your toast and top with cheese – yummy!