Why is it that when childhood leaves the building it takes the sloppy joe with it? As a 27 year old, I miss that gloopy gloppy ‘wich. There is something very satisfying about sinking your teeth – nay, your whole face – into something so messy. If you’re eating a sloppy joe and you don’t get any sauce on your cheeks, you’re doing something wrong. I longed for that kid-like feeling of not caring if you get messy so I decided it was time to bring back the sloppy joe.
I wanted to go beyond the canned sauce so I took some tips from the web and developed a recipe with a Southwestern vibe. Et voila: Sloppy Joe becomes Sloppy Jose. Brown the meat with garlic, cumin, chile powder, onions, and jalapenos. Once it’s cooked, add beer, worcestershire, hot sauce, and tomato paste. Those ingredients will give you the sauce to satisfy all your messy cravings. Once it’s saucy sloppy (in other words, simmer for about 25 minutes), pile it onto a soft bun and top with cheese (cheddar or pepperjack), a few extra jalapeno slices, and avocado. I served it with roasted potatoes, but I’m thinking a side of Fritos would have been baller.
You could actually taste the beer, which I liked – it’s not just for tenderizing. The spice of the jalapenos and the coolness of the avocado don’t make for a different sandwich, they make for a better sandwich. I may have made an elementary school-style mess but it was with slightly more sophisticated flavors.