Homemade Sloppy Joes

You can find various styles of beef sandwiches, beef on a stick, or beef pockets like empanadas throughout the world. The sloppy joe sandwich is uniquely American, though, and something that many people will relate to their childhoods. Most people grew up making sloppy joe sandwiches using sauce from a can, but it is possible to make it from scratch with fresh ingredients. We found that making homemade sloppy joes was not only easy, but the taste was better than what you can get from a pre-made sauce. You also have the option to make a different twist on the dish as well, perhaps making it a little spicy, but we chose to go with a traditional approach.

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Fresh Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 lb Ground Beef
  •  1/2 Medium White Onion – diced
  •  2 cloves Garlic – minced
  •  1 Red Pepper – diced
  •  3/4 cup Ketchup
  •  1 dash Worcestershire Sauce
  •  2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  •  1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
  •  2 cups Water
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Beef and Peppers

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the ground beef and onion into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat, breaking the ground beef up as it cooks, until the meat is browned and the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot water and stir, being sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to incorporate all of beef bits into the sauce. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Add another cup of hot water, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce is thick and the liquid has been reduced, about 40 minutes. Serve on buns.

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Reducing the Sauce
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Creating a Traditional Sloppy Joe Sauce
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Finished Sandwich

 

Homemade Corned Beef and Cabbage

Every year on St. Patrick’s Day, we cook corned beef and cabbage. Usually, we will just buy corned beef from the local grocery store and slow cook it with potatoes and cabbage, but a couple of times we have made our own corned beef. The name corned beef comes from the large rock salt, also called corns of salt, that are used to brine the beef. It takes about 10 days to brine the beef brisket and give it that distinctive flavor, but otherwise it is pretty simple to do. Not only is it a great dinner, but using the leftover corned beef to make Rueben sandwiches afterwards is almost even better than the original meal.

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Brining Liquid

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 to 4 lb Beef Brisket
  • 1 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 6 tbsp Pickling Spice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Dried Marjoram
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 8 cups Cold Water for the brine
  • 1/2 lb Potatoes (fingerling if possible)
  • 1/2 head of Green Cabbage
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Slow Cook the Brisket, Potatoes, and Cabbage

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large pot, combine the salt, sugar, 4 1/2 tablespoons pickling spice, peppercorns, marjoram, 2 bay leaves, and water. Heat on medium-high heat until the salt and sugar completely dissolves. Remove from the heat and let completely cool to room temperature. In a large brining bag or casserole dish, submerge the beef brisket and refrigerate for 8 to 10 days. We flipped the brisket daily in order to ensure that it brined evenly. When ready to cook, remove the brisket from the brine and rinse completely with cold water. Place the corned beef, fat side up, in a large Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the remaining pickling spices, bay leaves, and garlic. Bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stove and reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for 3 hours. Add the potatoes and simmer for another 30 minutes. Add the cabbage and simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.

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Brine for 10 days
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Finished Meal

 

Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage

One of the things that we enjoyed during our time in Europe was having breakfast at one of the many outdoor cafes. Europeans eat healthier breakfasts than what most restaurants here in the United States serve, so we don’t tend to go out for breakfast now that we are back home. We do, however, still enjoy a good healthy breakfast and since pork sausage or bacon can be high in calories, we decided to make a healthier alternative. We used ground turkey and spices to create a very tasty breakfast sausage that won’t leave you feeling guilty when you are done eating. It was actually really easy to make and we think that it tasted as good as store-bought pork sausage.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1tsp Dried Sage
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Marjoram
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
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Spices

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all of the herbs and then mix them in a bowl with the ground turkey. Be sure that all of the spices distribute equally throughout the ground turkey. Then, using your hands, make small patties that are each 2 to 3 ounces of ground turkey. Ours were about 2 1/4 ounces each, which resulted in 7 patties. To cook, fry the sausage patties in a skillet heated to medium-high with a couple of tablespoons of oil for about four to five minutes per side. Serve with your favorite breakfast items such as eggs and fruit.

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Frying Sausages
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Cooked Sausage Patties
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Healthy Breakfast