Monday, October 14, 2013

Root Beer Sloppy Joes

This will come as no surprise to anyone, but as a kid growing up in Wisconsin, I wasn't really what you'd refer to as "normal."  I didn't like hamburgers, I hated McDonald's, Cheetos kind of freaked me out.  I refused to drink my milk and thought sloppy joes were disgusting.

I still hate milk.  Not sure why, other than it tastes very literally like something that just came out of the stomach of a large animal.  I've come around to sloppy joes, though, largely because of this recipe, which came out of the Roanoke Times.  The keys here are:  a) the dried thyme, which gives the whole dish a nice layered taste; and b) the toasted whole grain buns.  And no, I'm not usually one for whole grain buns, either.  But what can I say?  I think this is one of those dishes where you look at the ingredients separately and shake your head--but when you put them all together?  The kids absolutely love it.  

Root Beer Sloppy Joes

1 lb. ground sirloin or high grade Angus chuck
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup root beer
4-6 whole-grain hamburger buns

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Slice the buns in half, lay them face down on the rack, and toast for 4-6 minutes, until just crispy on the insides. 
  2. In a large-nonstick skillet, cook ground sirloin for 4 minutes on medium until the pink is nearly gone.  Drain. 
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook for another 4 minutes, stirring regularly. 
  4. Add the chili powder, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper.  Stir.  
  5. Stir in ketchup and root beer.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. 
  6. Serve on the toasted buns.  

Family Ratings

Will, who really is becoming more easy-going as an eater:  10
Lucy, who thinks the root beer makes dinner taste like dessert (even though it really doesn't): 10
Jamie, who's taken to eating twelve snacks between 4:00 and 6:00, and then saying he doesn't like my cooking:  7
Ellen, who kind of rebels against anything that seems even vaguely midwestern:  7
Paul, who's not getting any skinnier:  10

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