Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How Now Ground Cow

I don't know the origin of Sloppy Joes, but it seems like every American household had it's own version of the tomato based saucy ground meat supper (and hopefully it didn't come out of a jar called "Manwich).

Ground meat on bread is not exclusively American.  Up in Quebec City, there is a similar Regional dish known as Pain à la viande, made out of ground meat, onion, ketchup, chili sauce, and a dash of hot sauce, served in what appeared to be hot dog buns.  In China, there's a delectable little street vendor sandwich if you've got 6 yuan in your pocket, called the Rou jia mo, made of simmered meat with about 20 spices served on Mo (flatbread), often with peppers.
The Range version is a blend of the best bits  of all of these. The sauce is more savory than tomato tasting, with just enough sauce to make it  moist and flavorful, while not making the bread soggy. There are no peppers, but there is a blend of wonderful spices, including a bit of sweet and the subtle bite of chili pepper. Then, instead of being served on hamburger or hot dog buns or flatbread, it is served on thick slices of  crusty homemade cheddar beer bread.  It's the perfect meal for a cool Fall or Winter evening.
Cheddar Beer Bread
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon  (rough estimate) cracked pepper
1 cup grated sharp  cheddar cheese
1 bottle room temperature Sam Adams beer

1/3 cup butter (NOT margarine) melted

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a  large mixing bowl (the beer will foam up briefly), combine all the dry ingredients. Add the cheese and toss to combine. Add the beer all at once, mixing  just until blended (the batter will be slightly lumpy).

How do you get that wonderful buttery, crunchy edge to it?  (Please send your arteries to the next room).
After pouring  the batter into a 9″x5″ loaf pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, (you know, to save calories :-) microwave the  1/3 cup butter and pour that melted gold over the top of the loaf, swirling it around in the pan so the whole top is covered.

Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until top is dark golden and a thin knife or skewer poked into the middle comes out clean (mine took 45 minutes).  Cool  a bit on a wire rack.
HOTR Savory Beef   (serves 4)
1 and 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or venison
1/4 large white onion, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)
2 Tablespoons Canada Dry Ginger Ale (yes, Ginger Ale)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dark molasses
1 and 1/2 TablespoonsWorchestershire sauce
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 generous teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon chili powder (I used Penzy's Chili 9000)
a pinch of crushed red pepper
a couple shakes each of salt and pepper
While bread cooks, mix everything but beef and onion in a medium sized bowl. Brown beef and onion  in a skillet until cooked through and drain fat. Pour sauce over meat and stir, simmering, on low (loosely covered with a lid) until the bread is ready.  Let bread cool five  minutes, remove from pan and serve topped with beef and a sprinkle of smoked cheddar.


  1. The origin of Sloppy Joes

    Ernest Hemingway was a big fisherman and poker player. While living in Key West, he would write in the morning, fish in the afternoon, and stay up late playing cards and drinking at a bar owned by his friend Joe. Many nights Joe would cook a very late dinner for his poker gang.
    One night he cooked spaghetti sauce but forgot about it while they were drinking.
    When he finally returned to the kitchen it was too thick to do apaghetti.
    Hemingway said, Hell Joe, just put it on bread. They all thought it was a bit sloppy but delicious.
    They called it Sloppy Joes.
    The bar is still in Key West; the name is Sloppy Joes.

  2. That looks so good, I should have read it after lunch though as I am hungry now. I resort to manwich some times but try to fix it while it is cooking.

  3. Not sure I'd call something that tasty & nice looking "Sloppy Joes" but I think I will be making this once the weather turns toward Fall. It looks REALLY good!

  4. OK

    It is an overcast, cool day, here in the mountains, soooooooo I am so going to give this one a try for dinner!



  5. I should know better than to read your blog while I am hungry. It's lunch time, and now all I can think about is trying to make this for dinner.

  6. YUM!! That looks and sounds really good. Gonna have to try that one. THANKS.


  7. Brigid, That looks absolutely delicious. Makes me think I should mix up my traditional Shepherd's Pie a little.

  8. You're killin' me here!

    Personally, I like 'em a little more tomato saucey, but it still looks terrific!

    Now I gotta go get b'fast...


  9. When I worked in [redacted], Iowa, they called them loose meat sandwiches or taverns. The big church fund raisers were quilt sales and tavern lunches. The meat tasted too bland for me, but the natives love them.

  10. Oh, my!! THOSE are two recipes I will be trying soon as it cools off a bit here... thank you for the share!

  11. Good stuff gal!

    May I offer a wee bump up to the bread? I make mine the same way, only every now and then I toss in some bacon bits. It kicks the flavor into overdrive.

    Dr. M.

  12. There goes the diet... sigh... :-)

  13. Aww, gee, B, what ya trying to do to me, make me into a screen lickin', droolin' on the keyboard Pillsberry doughboy lookin' kind of guy? That bread sounds addicting even without the ground cow now, and how!

  14. looks awesome.don't you need yeast? or am i missing something?

  15. Keith Wilson - I've been to the Keys several times (on business actually, not vacation) and saw the bar but didn't know the story. Thanks

    Rob - It was worth the calories.

    Monkeywrangler - the ginger ale adds a really nice flavor.

    Sunnybrook Farm - it has a few ingredients, but was very quick to mix up and cook.

    idahobob - your salsa recipe is STILL the favorite around here.

    DaddyHawk - the bread is fun, you can always add a lot of different things to it if making to go with soup or stew, red pepper, paprika, garlic, bacon, parsley, or any combination thereof.

    David O - thanks for stopping in and saying hi!

    Jane - go try the Pate Chinois recipe on the sidebar as well, (similar to shephards pie, but better). Talk to you soon!

    gfa - I didn't miss the tomato, it had a real unique flavor, with a lot of depth.

    Alma Boykin - I've been to Iowa pheasant hunting but it's been a while. Never tried one, but in looking at the recipes on line it doesn't appear to be seasoned. Just beef and onion on a steamed bun. (but they had me at steamed bun . . . )

    Andie - my taste isn't everyone's but I do hope you enjoy either.

    Michael W -oh, indeed, bits of smoked bacon is good in this!

    Old NFO - if it makes you feel better, I had a cup of Greek lemon soup with orzo and chicken. I then lusted over my latest muffin cookbook I got at Half Priced Book.

    MoBro - I cook like this when I have company. If it's just me I do grilled meat and salad (OK, and the occassional waffle and pancake) The leftovers are less tempting.

    Michigan Doug - welcome! No, the beer acts with the baking powder as a leavening agent. No kneading or rising time required. It's a lot courser in texture than yeast bread but it has a wonderful flavor and makes a nice hearty loaf. I've also used guinness with Rosemary, and though not as "pretty" it was really delicious with some stew.

  16. In my house, this meal has a little more class.

    We call them Untidy Josephs.


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