This wasn’t an unqualified success, but it was fun. I had never, ever made sloppy joes before, so it was a total experiment. Both of us being products of the public school system, we were each traumatized by the high school cafeteria version of this dish (there’s a reason I ate peanut butter sandwiches all through school). As I recall, it’s basically a cheap hamburger bun topped with bad spaghetti sauce – anyone else remember more details? Anyway, we had some sweet potato rolls left over and I thought it would be fun to top them with a sort of piquant ground beef sauce and let them get all soggy. And it was!
For the sauce, I sauteed an onion, mixed in a pound of ground beef from our previous cow (the new cow is in the freezer, but there’s still a bit left of the old one) and added a bit of Pendleton’s barbecue sauce. That tasted a little odd to me, so I added half a can of diced tomatoes, some fresh garlic and quite a bit of salt, and it came together pretty well (I think the garlic really did the trick). I cut the rolls in half, toasted them lightly, and dumped the sauce all over, with a bit of fresh sauteed spinach on the side. We opened a rich toasty Zinfandel. It was not at all like high school.