Mel’s Diner

Sharp Knives, Raw Meat and Fire

Because of this, I’m internet free this week….I do have some recipes, though…


May 4, 2014 Posted by | Random Blather | Leave a comment



How many have you gone through this?  I came home the other night, had no idea what to make for dinner.  I knew I had hamburger in the freezer and I would do something with that.   I’m a 20th century man, so I pulled it out of the freezer and into the microwave to defrost.  All the while I was trying to decide what to make.  My goto was Goulash – always good, but at this point a little boring.  After maybe 15 minutes of painful concentration it hit me – Sloppy Joes!  I have hamburger, tomatoes, onions, sugar, ketchup – even sandwich rolls.

I made these from scratch many years ago and a website search of Melsdiner shows that post is one of the many lost in the great Clearblogs cleansing.  So I searched and found what looked like a really good recipe from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.  I adapted:

Sloppy Joes

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2-1/2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 whole Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced (How did I not have this?  It would have been better with it)
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced (5?  C’mon – I used 3)
  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder (I used 1 ½ of Ancho and ½ of Chipotle plus a dash of smoked Paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
  • Worcestershire Sauce, To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (optional)
  • Tabasco Sauce (optional; To Taste) – none used.
  • Salt to Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.

Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft.

Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

I served in big grinder rolls and happiness was had by all.  This is really a good recipe and kudos to Ree if she came up with it.  If she stole it, well – she stole well.

May 1, 2014 Posted by | Food Network, Main Dish, Sandwich | Leave a comment