Ultimate Sloppy Joes with Smoked Cheddar and Bacon
Sweet, tangy, smoky and spicy — these are not your mama’s sloppy joes!
- 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
- 8 oz (250 g) lean ground beef
- 8 oz (250 g) lean ground pork
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) paprika
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) tomato paste
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) reduced-sodium beef broth
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
- 4 brioche buns, split and toasted
- 8 Cracker Barrel Smoked Cheddar Slices
- 16 slices pickle
- 4 rounds red onion
- Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until starting to crisp around edges. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in beef, pork, salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up beef and pork with wooden spoon, for 5 to 8 minutes or until beef and pork are starting to brown.
- Stir in celery, jalapeño, onion, garlic, chili powder, paprika, oregano and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Stir in tomato sauce, beef broth, maple syrup, vinegar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes or until sauce is reduced and thickened to barbecue sauce–like consistency.
- Meanwhile, preheat broiler.
- To assemble sloppy joes, arrange pickles and onion on bottom buns. Divide meat mixture and Cheddar among bottom buns.
- Broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until Cheddar has melted. Cap with bun tops.
Serve with kettle chips or fries on the side if desired.
For adult sloppy joes, add a splash of bourbon or whisky to beef mixture in Step 3.