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.