Who can eat a sloppy joe without the classic Adam Sandler song about “shloopy-joes, shloopy-shloopy joes” popping into their heads?
Not me. That’s who. It’s nearly a ritual we have, the hubs and I. Whenever we dive in for a “shloopy-joe”, one of us inevitably begins to sing the song. It is inevitable. Inevitably.
Of course, if you have a love/hate relationship with gluten (like a certain someone who may or may not be typing this right now), this sloppy-joe mix is fabulous served on top of some whipped up mashed potatoes.
You know me, I’m from Idaho. I gotta squeeze in the humble potato in there somewhere.
Adding extra veggies into your “shloopy-joe” mix doesn’t hurt much either. The red bell peppers add natural sweetness to the overall smoky flavor of the mix. Best of all, this freezes really well.
There are a few ground rules for freezing mashed potatoes, though. Because if you freeze mashed potatoes simply on their own, without any additives, then they will not thaw well at all. Trust me. They will be mushy, watery and blah. Yuck.
But you CAN freeze mashed potatoes if you add the right things, like dairy. The dairy will glue the potatoes together and thusly, they will not break down in the freezing process.
In other words, do not freeze instant potatoes. You gotta make them from scratch and make sure you load them up with butter and cream. This isn’t really for taste (although it helps, a lot), it’s mainly to ensure the potatoes will freeze correctly.
But if you’re a crazy busy person, like me, this dish is super easy by reheating the frozen meat mix and serving it over some instant mashed potatoes.
And before you know it your plate will end up looking like this:
Veggie-licious Smoky Sloppy Joes
2 lbs. ground round (or chuck)
1 onion, diced finely
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange), diced finely
4 green onions, chopped finely
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
2-3 tbsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. tabasco sauce
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. grill seasoning
1 tsp. garlic salt
A few sprinkles of red pepper flakes
- Brown the ground chuck over medium-high heat in a large deep skillet, and remove from skillet, draining the fat.
- In same pan, saute the onion over medium heat until transparent (5-7 minutes). Add bell peppers and continue until soft (10 minutes). Add garlic and green onions, cook for a minute or two, then add the cooked meat back to the pan with the veggies.
- Stir the veggies and meat mixture together. Add the sauce ingredients and bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat.
- Taste test! If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit of water. If it’s too runny for your preference, add more ketchup.
- Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes for flavors to blend.
To freeze: cool completely then transfer to large freezer zip-lock bag, lay flat in freezer.
To thaw and serve: take bag out of freezer the night before serving, let it thaw completely. Reheat over the stove or in the microwave. Serve with buns or mashed potatoes or rice.