Saturday, May 16, 2009

Freezer Cooking - Sloppy Joes

Another meal I like to make ahead and put in the freezer is sloppy joes. Depending on your region, they may also be known as yum-yums. While it's convenient to open a can or jar of pre-made stuff, a former co-worker gave me this recipe:

Sloppy Joes

1 lb hamburger
one onion, more or less, chopped
one green bell pepper, more or less, chopped
1 can tomato soup, undiluted
1/4 c ketchup
1 T mustard
1 T brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Brown hamburger, onion, and green pepper, drain. (Can saute onion and green pepper separately.) Add remaining ingredients, and heat through. Can also make up and put in a crock pot on low for a few hours for a potluck.
Last night, I decided to make up five pounds of hamburger for sloppy joes, since that's what will fit in the biggest skillet that I have. There was a minor incident, but that's another post.

I use my potato masher (pictured above, obtained at an antique store!) to break up hamburger as it browns. Being a recovering vegetarian, I prefer meat to be in small chunks. I started with frozen hamburger, so I added some water to create steam and help thaw the meat on all sides. (ooh, that'll be my Kitchen Tip Tuesday post for the week!)

Once the hamburger was all browned, I drained it. If I'd have thought ahead more, I'd have chopped and sauteed the onions and green peppers (the latter of which, by the way, I forgot to buy). I didn't, so I just added some onion powder when I stirred in the rest of the ingredients. I found I was short on ketchup, but added a bit more brown sugar for sweetness and it's just a little less soupy. I have frequently used green peppers from our garden that I have chopped and frozen with good results. I just happen to be out of last year's peppers. (This really is exactly how my life goes.)

Quintupling the recipe (times five, right?), I ended up with three 3-cup packages for the freezer, three cups that I put in the refrigerator to eat this week, and about another cup or cup and a half that we ate last night. Plus I only had to wash dishes once!

What's your favorite recipe for sloppy joes? While I like this recipe, I'd prefer to get away from using the tomato soup. I have tried tomato soup recipes but neither Hubs nor I care much for tomato soup by itself. Plus I'm not sure if I've seen a recipe for the condensed version in quantity - i.e. one that is meant to be preserved and diluted when consumed later. (Mom, you should click through and leave the recipe for EJ's Yum Yums. I don't remember what's in them!)


Angela said...

I'm not much help because my recipe uses tomato soup as well. I just use ground beef, onion, tomato soup, a little brown sugar, and a little mustard. And we call them barbecues up here. It's funny how they have so many different names.

And yes, I did watch Lost. CRAZY! I have no clue what is going on! The thing with Locke really confuses me, but then again most everything with that show confuses me!

Christy at frugalcrunchychristy said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I love sloppy joes and make them often. I think you should try just using tomato paste instead of the soup. That is how I do it. I also add a little garlic powder. Finally, I tear out some of the bread on the bun lid to make kind of a bowl to put the sloppy joe in. I started doing this when my kids were little to cut down on the mess. We all still eat them this way - less bread, more yumminess! I never use mustard - can't wait to try that.

Anonymous said...

Here is the Yum Yum recipe that you requested - Mom

EJ's Yum Yums
1 pound hamburger
2 T Chili Powder (Opt)- I don't use it.
Chopped Onion to Taste
1 T Sugar
1-2 T Vinegar
2 T or more Ketchup
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 Cup Tomato Sauce - more or less
Brown hamburger, add onions to soften and add rest of ingredients. (Adjust or leave out any ingredient to taste.)

You could use tomato paste and add water, tomato juice and cook it down or whole tomatoes if you like the meat of the tomato in your sandwich.

Sarah said...

I like this recipe:

and have frequently just used tomato paste (which I ALWAYS have on hand) with water to replace any recipe with canned tomato soup or sauce (wich I never have on hand). In a pinch, I've also subbed out diluted ketchup.

I also made a version from Rachael Ray . . . seems like it had apple cider vinegar in them which made them tangy and perfect . . . not sure which recipe it was though!:(


Anonymous said...

My sloppy joe recipe doesn't call for tomato soup...just the ketchup...but I have used tomato soup, tomato sauce and tomato past when I'm running short of ketchup. My recipe calls for vinegar too, but I don't use it. I also season with garlic powder and worchestershire sauce. I've have been know to add a tablespoon of pickle relish in my sloppy joes it a different flavor.