Monday, March 25, 2013

Tex Mex Sloppy Joes

I love sandwiches for easy weeknight meals but I couldn't tell you the last time I had a Sloppy Joe. We didn't eat them growing up so they just aren't on my radar. But I had some ground beef in the freezer, a hankering for guacamole and I'd printed out Tara's recipe for Tex Mex Sloppy Joes awhile back so I decided to give them a try.

tex mex

Since I'm not a beer drinker I cut the amount of beer down to 6oz from a full 12oz bottle, which was a good call because there was plenty of beer flavor with just those 6oz.

This is a messy but yummy sandwich. A lot of my filling spilled out of the bun with my first bite. Baby Girl's sandwich had a lot less filling so she managed to eat hers without too much trouble.

This was a momentous meal for two reasons, the first being Baby Girl finally likes tomatoes and has rediscovered her love of avocados/guacamole. Avocado was one of her first foods, mashed up and fed to her with a spoon, so when she started turning up her nose at it I was sad. I absolutely love avocados and eat them plain with some salt and lemon juice frequently. I offer her new things or things she's previously disliked every time I make it - my rule is she has to try something but if she doesn't like it she doesn't have to eat it. Tomatoes have been something I've offered countless times over the years and she will dutifully take a bite, spit it back out and say "no thank you, mommy." The night I made these sandwiches I was chopping grape tomatoes for the guacamole and offered her a piece. She chewed, swallowed, asked for more and proceeded to eat most of the tomatoes I'd just finished cutting. And then later, when I'd mixed up the guacamole, she asked for a chip so I told her she needed to try the guac as well. She did, asked for more, and later asked for more with dinner. It was a banner night, I'm telling you.

Tex Mex Sloppy Joes
As seen on Smells Like Home

1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
1 chipotle chile en adobo
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of cayenne
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 lbs ground chicken, turkey, or beef
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz beer, such as a light ale or lager
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 warm hamburger buns
Chopped cilantro, diced onion, grated cheddar or Monterey jack

Add the tomato sauce, chipotle chile (or powder), oregano, ground cumin, smoked paprika, allspice, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Brown the ground meat in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain off the fat. Warm the canola oil in the pan with the browned meat then add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Pour the tomato mixture into the skillet along with the beer, ketchup and cilantro. Stir until well combined.

Bring to a low simmer over medium heat then reduce the heat to medium-low heat and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Stir in the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on warm buns with guacamole and other add-ons, if desired.
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