Last year I made and tried sloppy joes for the first time using my slow cooker. I love this recipe for two different reasons. 1. It is very tasty and 2. It makes a large batch so you can freeze batches for future easy dinners. There is only one problem. My oldest daughter does not like it because she says it is too sweet. Now I should say that Emma (my oldest) likes her food spicy – like real spicy. She puts hot sauce on EVERYTHING and honestly there are days I worry about her burning off her taste buds. I actually need to monitor her hot sauce intake. I am not joking. Anyway, the rest of us like the original sloppy joe recipe but I decided to prepare another version that would appease to Emma’s spicy tooth.
I had my eye on this smokey joes recipe from Rachael Ray for a while now. I love that she used bacon and chipotle chilis, instead of liquid smoke, to get that smoky flavor. I decided to use poblano peppers instead of Serrano peppers because I needed to keep the spiciness under control for my youngest. Aubrey is the complete opposite of Emma and does not like her food spicy at all. Oh the joys of trying to feed a family.
I also use diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce for no other reason than I forgot to purchase the tomato sauce. I added a tablespoon of tomato paste to thicken it up. I actually liked the diced tomatoes in the finished recipe. If you decide to make it this way don’t worry if you have a bunch of tomato paste left over because it easily freezes.
Once last change I made to this recipe is I grated the onion instead of chopping. I actually learned this tip from watching one of Rachael Rays shows. Both my kids hate the texture of onions in recipes. By grating it you still get the flavor but no onions pieces. If no one cares then just chop the onion because it is much easier.
Everybody enjoyed this smokey joes recipe. It was not sweet at all, had a great smoky flavor, and just the right amount of spice to keep everyone happy. The original recipe called for adding the hot sauce into the dish but I left it out and let everyone add in the amount they wanted after they prepared their sandwiches. This worked out quite well since Emma throws in half a bottle, I shake in a couple dashes, and Aubrey passes.
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, grated
- 1 poblano pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 cup lager beer
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Hot sauce to taste
- 6 tablespoons shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 4 burger rolls, toasted
- Fry up bacon until crisp. Remove bacon. Crumble the bacon once it is cooled and set aside.
- Cook beef in bacon grease until browned. As it cooks break up with spoon to crumble. Add in onion, pepper, garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, and coriander. Cook for 5 -7 minutes or until pepper is soften and beef is cooked through.
- In a bowl whisk together beer, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and apple cider vinegar. Add liquid mixture in with the beef. Bring to a boil then let simmer until it thickens about 7-10 minutes.
- Serve on toasted buns. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with a little cheese.
This recipe can be made completely ahead of time (up to putting it on a bun) and frozen in plastic containers or bags. To serve remove from container and heat in microwave or on stove. Serve hot.