But Mom, they’re called Sloppy Joes! They’re supposed to be sloppy!
The first meal I ever learned to cook was Sloppy Joes, but when your mother is a professional food stylist, nothing is ever “sloppy”. I learned early on that making a great meal is not simply about it being good tasting, it is also very much about “presentation”, and Sloppy Joes are no exception.
As I got older and became more advanced in the kitchen, I often returned to the first meal I learned to prepare and added personal touches to the classic sandwich. Finally, after many years, I think I’ve mastered it…the perfect Sloppy Joe! So perfect, in fact, that calling it a “Sloppy Joe” seems to do it a true disservice. A more accurate name, I believe, is the Gentleman Joe.
When this photo was taken I tried to dress in a way befitting my gentlemanly dish. A Thomas Pink shirt (a nod to my Anglophile side), J. Crew tie (for that all-American look) and Belgian linen apron…an unrequested present from my mother.
makes 6 sandwiches
2 lbs. ground sirloin
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup your favorite prepared BBQ sauce (I use Paula Deen Smokey Apple Cinnamon BBQ Sauce)
Salt and pepper
3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
3 slices thick bacon, cooked crisp and chopped, drippings reserved
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 sandwich buns
In a large saute pan cook ground sirloin until just browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain beef fat from pan. Add reserved bacon fat and onion to pan and saute until onion is translucent. Add cooked beef and BBQ sauce. Reduce heat and simmer while heating potatoes.
In a medium sauce pan add potatoes, bacon and cheese. Cook over low heat until heated through.
To assemble put ½ cup potato mixture on the bottom of each sandwich bun. Top with a generous scoop of beef mixture and place bun top over.
Dear, Paula Deen
Well I think you are the most amazing person, you are my role model if they took you off from the set I would of died inside your the best cook and I can't waite to see you again
Alexis Conner in Summer Salad Days on December 04, 2013 at 4:59 pm
Paula, I used to watch your show on Food Network a lot when I still had the TV and cable many year ago. You weren't even that big a star back then. I always love watching you cook on Youtube after I ditched my TV and cable and read your recipes on Food Network Magazines. I hope one day you can return to Food Network and the Food Network Magazine. I stop buying the magazine since you were gone.
Orindary Jane in Love at Last on December 04, 2013 at 2:32 am
Great blog Cindy!!!! I always enjoy reading your post. This Thanksgiving centerpiece is absolutely beautiful and so easy to make.
Ann in A Perfectly Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece on December 03, 2013 at 8:10 pm
Paula, made your Zucchini Custard Casserole for Thanksgiving and it was Fantastic!!! Thank you so much! Love you & your family. Happy holidays!
Pat Walker in Love at Last on December 02, 2013 at 8:45 pm