Thursday, December 23, 2010

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes


I love recipes that can be put together, then sit on Warm in a crockpot for anyone to spoon up as they need. Sloppy Joes seem to be an easy dinner for a busy night, or for a Christmas buffet that might last a few hours.

I already have a recipe for Crockpot Sloppy Joes on my site, but this new recipe appealed to me as it had tomato paste in it and not tomato soup, ketchup or another can of condensed soup. I always seem to have tomato paste on hand, but not specific ingredients, and I like to stay away from processed ingredients.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
recipe adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (I left out)
1 large rib celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or more as needed
2 tablespoons firmly packed light or dark brown sugar, or more as needed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce, such as Tabasco
Dash of cayenne pepper

Hamburger buns or other soft sandwich rolls for serving

Use a medium round or oval slow cooker.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the beef with the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic, stirring to break up the meat. When the meat is cooked through, transfer the meat and vegetables to the slow cooker. Add the remaining Sloppy Joe ingredients and stir to combine well. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours.
Taste and add more vinegar or sugar, if desired. Serve the meat mixture spooned onto the buns.

The verdict?
After I set the crockpot to go, I went to the freezer to remove some buns, and realized we didn't have any! So I whipped up a batch of Bread Machine Buttery Rolls.

I almost burned the Sloppy Joes, though, as it got a little dark around the edges, even though it was only cooking on Low for a few hours. I spooned out the black chunks, gave it a stir, and turned off the crockpot and let it sit there for almost an hour until we were ready to eat and it was fine. Dish rescued! The cooking time for my crockpot was around 4 hours on Low, and 1 hour on Warm.

As for taste, this was a great dinner. I loved that it took ingredients that I usually have on hand, and it passed the test at the dinner table!

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

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