Easy Sloppy Wellington

[I’m at the beach, please enjoy this encore recipe and July 4th And Stuff story] 


This week my recipe for great low cost meals is an easy, fun, and affordable variation of Beef Wellington. The idea for my recipe came from the Cuisine at Home recipe for Mushroom Wellingtons. I liked their idea of using Portobello mushrooms and puff pastry sheets, but I wanted to create an entirely different fun family meal. I concluded that the Portobello mushroom would provide a great platform for serving one of my favorite comfort meals, the Sloppy Joe.
The recipe will serve 6.

6 Portobello Mushrooms
1 ½ lbs Ground Sirloin
2  8 oz can of Tomato sauce
½ Onion diced
¼ Green pepper diced
1Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Garlic Clove peeled and diced
1 tsp Fresh Basil chopped
¼ tsp Salt
½ tsp Chili Powder
Pepper to taste
¼ Cup American Honey Bourbon Whiskey or similar sweet liqueur (likely not in your mother’s recipe)
1 box Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (thaw as directed on the box)
2 Tbsp butter – melted
Step 1: Wash the mushrooms and then use a spoon to remove the stems and gills to create a cup to hold the Sloppy Joe meat.   

Step 2: Break up and brown the ground sirloin, remove meat and reserve meat, leaving one Tbsp of meat juices in fry pan.

Step 3: Saute’ the onion, green pepper, garlic, and then add the tomato sauce, basil, Dijon Mustard, chili powder, salt, pepper, American Honey Bourbon and stir. Then add browned meat stir and simmer.

Place the Portobello Mushrooms on an oven sheet which has been lightly sprayed  with canola oil, and cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. 

Step 4: Take a sheet of the puff pastry, cut it into 4 squares. Sprinkle flour on your board, and roll each square out to about 10 inches. Place one hollowed out mushroom on the puff pastry, spoon Sloppy Joe mixture into the cavity in the mushroom, and fold the puff pastry over the mushroom and meat leaving a small opening at the top. Repeat the assembly five more times. Brush each Sloppy Wellington with melted butter.

Step 5: Spray oven sheet with canola oil, and bake for 20 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 425 degrees. As oven temperatures vary, keep an eye on the Sloppy Wellington and remove them when puff sheets are golden.

Plate the Sloppy Wellington with a fresh salad, and there you go, you have elevated the lowly Sloppy Joe to a highbrow Sloppy Wellington meal. 


 It’s hard to believe but the 4th of July is this weekend.  Man time flies!  Seems like just yesterday we were skiing in Mammoth.  Point is, summer is here, and I love the 4th of July.

I like how the day builds to the grand finale fireworks show.  I usually start the 4th off with an early morning power walk at the beach with She Who Must Be Obeyed. 


 (Heads up, this is a photograph of She Who Must Be Obeyed, deceptive isn’t she) 

Early in the morning the beach is still quiet, and the sand clear of the beachgoers who arrive in mass later. June Gloom this year has been minimal so if that holds, the ocean views will be incredible.

Street parking on the 4th completly disapears as the day progress so, after our walk, we park our cars on the street in front of our house so that our in-laws in their 80’s, and other family can just drive into our garage later.      


Next, at midday we walk to the beach with our chairs, boogey boards, and ice chest loaded with appropriate snacks and innocent looking fruit juice (margaritas).  If we arrive before our neighborhood friends we spread our chairs and towels in such a manner as to hold down space for our friends, and if our friends are already there we fill in space they have held for us.  And then, other than talking and watching the kids, we enjoy the rare but wonderful activity of doing virtually nothing. We catch up on what is going on in the hood, and then the conversation almost always steers to how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful area, of such a wonderful country.     

We will hang at the beach basking in the sun until late afternoon. Then, I will leave She Who Must Be Obeyed at the beach with our friends, and walk home to start work on the barbecue. Nothing fancy just burgers, hot dogs, salads, beans and chips. Our deck is on the walkway to the beach and it is always fun when people walk by and tell me the barbecue smells great. 

We time the meal so that after a few drinks, and dinner, the sun is just starting to set.  Because, that means it’s time to go back to the beach, this time with chairs, blankets, jackets, and more “fruit juice” because the first of two fireworks shows will be starting shortly. 

In Redondo the fireworks show is performed from a barge a few hundred feet from the pier.  This year the beach will be more crowded then ever because some neighboring communities have cut their fireworks show due to budget concerns.

If there is no June Gloom, and the sky is clear, there is nothing like sitting on the beach with the waves crashing while watching a fireworks show.  Redondo puts on a pretty good fireworks show. And if that ended the evening it would be just fine.  But,  it’s not the end of the evening.

At the conclusion of the Redondo fireworks show, those in the know (that now includes you) turn the beach chairs to face the other direction.  And there, a few hundred feet off shore in front of a lovely beach side house sits another barge.  This barge is also loaded to the teeth with fireworks.  But, this time it is not a city show. Nope, it’s a private citizen who honors her deceased husband every year with her own fireworks show.  Her fireworks show is usually as good and sometimes even better than the city show.

So, let’s recap, a beautiful day at the beach, followed by a barbeque and two fireworks shows at the beach!  What a celebration. What a day.

Happy Birthday America.

Good Eating and Table Talk,


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