I haven't posted a recipe in a long time, so this feels exciting. I am not sure how this Sloppy Joe recipe failed to make it on my blog last year when I was consistently posting recipes, but it is a long-time favorite. Every time I make it, I think, "Yes! I love this meal. I want to make it again soon." I have made it twice in the past two weeks, and last night I took time to take pictures and now here we are.
The secret ingredient in the recipe is chopped dates, and you will be amazed at the fact that you won't know they're there (by texture), but you will know they're there (by taste). The dates lend just the right degree of sweetness to the meat. I got the original recipe years ago from a Whole Foods in-store flier, in which the meal was called "Turkey Sloppy Janes," because it called for ground turkey to make the meal feel lighter or healthier, I suppose. No qualms about it: I love ground beef, grass-fed from Aldi, so I guess that brings it back to Joe.
I chopped the veggies for the meal yesterday afternoon while listening to a Gretchen Rubin podcast. I had gotten behind on her podcasts recently so I've had fun catching up.
The Sloppy Joes can be served in multiple ways. I don't always have or buy buns, but when I have them, I serve the kids' meat on buns: either whole (like a classic sloppy joe) or cut into bitesize pieces like this:
TJ and I eat our Sloppy Joes in bowls, bunless, and sometimes with pickles, like this:
Some favorite sides to make with this meal are Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Blanched Broccoli Salad.
The Rosemary Potatoes are even better if you take the time to walk outside and pick your own rosemary, which I hardly ever do in winter. I like using the Organic Great Value Crushed Rosemary from Walmart because the pieces are big like fresh rosemary.
I posted the recipe for the Broccoli Salad last January, so here's the link to that post in case you want to read the story behind it. Bauer, Cash, and I especially love this salad.
So for one lovely weeknight meal, or to serve for guests, open a bottle of red wine that complements the red meat, and eat, eat, eat! I am in love with Robert Farrar Capon's The Supper of the Lamb as we speak, so I'll let him speak: