A few weeks ago I made homemade hamburger buns (which I haven’t written about… oops) to take to a barbecue. I had some left and froze some because I wasn’t going to be able to eat them all. I decided that Beef and Mushroom Sloppy Joes would be a good enough excuse to eat another one or two. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of sloppy joes – I actually prefer making chili burgers instead by combining ground beef with a can of chili instead of a can of Manwich. I reasoned that making sloppy joes from scratch might make me like them more.
This recipe used a pound of lean ground beef and a pound of finely chopped ground mushrooms. After you brown the beef, you add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook until onion is soft, and then add tomato paste, oregano (I used dried), red wine vinegar, Worchestershire sauce, molasses, and salt (which I forgot to add). After the liquid has evaporated, add black pepper and hot sauce.
This recipe made a lot of sloppy joes. My hamburger buns were big, and there was plenty for 4 sandwiches if we’d wanted to have that many. I liked the texture – the mushrooms worked well in the mixture and were not mushy at all. I liked the fact that the sloppy joes were half vegetables, and they weren’t overly sweet. That said, it didn’t particularly taste like sloppy joes. It tasted primarily like mushrooms. Manwich, for instance, tastes sweeter, more tomatoey and more like barbecue sauce. This recipe smelled more like vinegar (which I’m sensitive to) and Worcestershire sauce. It was a solid recipe and I’m glad I tried it, but neither Alex nor I liked it enough to make it again.