Sloppy Joes, kosher style

Turkey Sloppy Joe
Turkey Sloppy Joe

So tell me, who is the Joe and why is he so sloppy? The best answer I could find was that the concept of a Sloppy Joe as a sandwich originated in 1930 in a small local cafe in Sioux City, Iowa, as a loose meat sandwich, courtesy of their cook, a guy named Joe.

Cold weather makes Sloppy Joe the perfect recipe for a quick dinner. The classic ones typically have ground beef, onions, ketchup, seasoning and a few other ingredients in them. Nice, simple and tasty. However, the following recipes are just a little bit different and beyond delicious. I also have a few suggestions to make your Sloppy Joes extra special.

• Serve them with shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, avocado and pickles.

• Substitute ground turkey or bison for the beef.

• Add shredded carrots, sliced mushrooms or diced bell peppers.

• Serve in pita or on lettuce leaves.

• Add hot sauce, chili sauce or flavoured BBQ sauce for a different flavour.

Slow cook Sloppy Joes

The ground beef has to be cooked before you put it in the crock pot.

o 2 lb. ground beef

o 1 onion, diced

o 1 tbsp. minced garlic

o 1/2 tsp. salt

o 1/2 tsp. pepper

o 1/4 cup water

o 3 tbsp. soy sauce

o 1 tsp. mustard

o 2 tbsp. brown sugar

o 1 cup ketchup

o 3/4 cup hickory barbeque sauce

o 10 toasted hamburger buns

In a large skillet brown the ground beef, onion and garlic. When the meat is no longer pink, drain it then put it in the crock pot. Add the salt, black pepper, water, soy sauce, mustard, brown sugar, ketchup and barbeque sauce. Mix to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Serves 10.

Turkey Sloppy Joes

o 2 tbsp. olive oil

o 1 large onion, chopped

o 1 tbsp. minced garlic

o 2 1/2 lb. ground turkey

o 1 cup cooked brown rice

o 1/2 cup water, plus more if necessary

o 1 cup ketchup

o 1/2 cup tomato paste

o 2 tbsp. cider vinegar

o 2 tbsp. brown sugar

o 8 to 10 hamburger buns

In a large skillet heat the oil, then add the onion and garlic. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes, then add the turkey. Cook, stirring constantly, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and then add the rice, water, ketchup, tomato paste, vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until hot throughout. Serve on buns. Makes 8 to 10.

Vegan lentil Sloppy Joes

o 1 tbsp. olive oil

o 1 onion, diced

o 1 red bell pepper, diced

o 2 sticks of celery, chopped

o 1 tsp. cumin

o 1 tsp. chili powder

o 1 cup lentils

o 3 cups water

o 1 28-oz. can tomato sauce

o 3 tbsp. tomato paste

o 1 tsp. hot sauce

o 1 tsp. salt

o 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

o 6 buns

In a skillet heat the oil and then sauté the onion, pepper and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and chili powder, mix to combine and cook for 1 minute. Add the lentils, water, tomato sauce, tomato paste and hot sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Add more water if the liquid gets too low, below the lentils). At this point, taste the lentils, and if they are tender, add the salt and balsamic vinegar to taste. Serve with your favourite topping on the buns. Serves 6.

Note: Most classic Sloppy Joe recipes call for Worcestershire sauce. Most Worcestershire sauce, while kosher, does contain fish and therefore is not recommended to be served with meat. I always substitute soy sauce for it in recipes that have meat in them.