It cooled down for a while this week, and with snow in the mountains my mind wandered to my youth in North Dakota. The old stand by for parties back in the day was Sloppy Joe or as we called em in the tundra Slush Burgers. Try my easy recipe for Sloppy Joe and if you’re old enough enjoy the memories. To round things out I’ve included a low fat recipe for oven baked fries, and what the heck a vegetable.
Recipe serves 6
One and 1/2 lbs. ground beef
8 oz tomato sauce
3/4 C water
1/2 onion – diced
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp dry basil
1 tsp chili powder
1 clove garlic – diced
2 Tbsp ketchup
36 string beans
24 pearl onions
1 Tbsp butter
2 large russet potatoes
drizzle of canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in large fry pan, add onions and saute.
In same fry pan brown ground beef.
Spoon out grease.
To browned ground beef add onions, tomato sauce, mustard, basil, chili powder, garlic, ketchup, water, salt and pepper . Bring to boil and reduce to simmer (may have to add a little water – but at end you want the meat mixture to be thick).
Simmer until the mixture thickens and or the potatoes and beans are done.
Wash and dry russet potatoes. Do not peel. Slice each in half, and then half again, and then into plank size fries.
Drizzle potatoes with a little canola oil and then mix them up to get coverage on both sides. Spray a little oil on oven sheet, add potatoes, salt and pepper to taste.
Place oven sheet potatoes into oven heated to 415 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip the potatoes and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown.
Rinse the string beans, cut off stem ends. Add water to a large pot with a steamer insert so as to be just below the insert. Add beans and pearl onions. Bring water to boil and then reduce to strong simmer and cover. Steam for 5 minutes.
Plate the beans, potatoes, and serve an ample portion of meat on each bun.
And that’s it, you just made a super easy and fun party meal for the family.
I already mentioned that Sloppy Joe was a staple at winter parties back in Dakota. But, what I didn’t mention was the college Sloppy Joe experience. There was a time when you actually could get a free meal! At least on Saturday and as long as you ordered pitchers of beer.
At the south outskirts of Minot, roughly 9 miles from the north outskirts of Minot, was our college beer and pool hall. Certainly not every Saturday, because that would be just wrong, but lets say most Saturdays all my fellow rock band buddies would meet up at the bar around noon. Why? Because that’s about when we woke up, having slept in from playing a dance somewhere the night before, and because of the food. On Saturday the bar would have huge pots of Slush Burgers, and another pot of hot dogs warm, ready and free. We would order a couple of pitchers and chow down while playing pool.
In addition to pool there was foosball, and a state of the art electronic game that was awesome called pong. (I know now days it would be viewed as little more than annoying static on the screen, but back then whoa momma).
So there we sat, played, and talked until it was time to gear up with our respective bands, and head out for another dance in an even smaller town somewhere in the vast frozen tundra.
While not too sophisticated, all in all, it was a great time.
Good Eating and Table Talk,
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