Ditalini had a busy day planned and asked me to make dinner. She left a packet of Sloppy Joe mix on the kitchen counter, along with a pound of ground beef to thaw. I was underwhelmed by the idea of using a mix and decided to make my own Sloppy Joes from scratch. How hard could it be? Not hard at all, it turned out, and infinitely better than the package mix version.
1 lb ground beef
1/4 large onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 small can (4 oz) diced Hatch chiles
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
Brown ground beef with the onion and garlic. Drain off excess fluid. Add other ingredients and mix well. Cook over medium heat until the liquid cooks down a little and the texture is right.
Most recipes call for a whole onion. The onions we had on hand were the softball-sized white ones. I thought that would be way too much, so I quartered one and saved three quarters for future use.
Ditalini came home from her busy day with a package of hamburger buns, a bag of potato chips, and leftover antipasto salad from a business lunch. She suggested having the chips with our Sloppy Joes, but I wanted something green and heated up some peas instead. I served the Sloppy Joes over heated buns, with the peas and salad on the side. It turned out to be a great TV tray dinner for a night with the new season of Veronica Mars.