I can tell when I haven’t been making enough man food around here. Jesse, my husband, starts incessantly talking about his deep love of bacon. He also requested Sloppy Joes of all things for dinner. I tend to fall into vegetarian tendencies naturally, often forgetting he grew up on a small farm with cattle.
Knowing I’ve pushed my luck a bit too far I fulfilled this man food request. I’m not all that excited about this honestly. Sure it tasted great, and the homemade bun was fabulous, but my overexcited inner child is not jumping for joy here. If only this sandwich was made of beautifully grilled fresh vegetables, that would make my soul sing!
My husband however, was ecstatic I made this meaty sandwich. He loved it! There’s something about many men and meat I just don’t understand. Jesse and the other males in my family get excited when meat shows up on the table. They visibly start to become more animated and announce how much they love the meal, no matter how simple. On the other hand, if I feed them quiche and chai tea, they look like I’ve beaten them and their testosterone levels appear to drop.
I also realize if I don’t make these meaty man food items on occasion, my husband will try to put up with me for awhile as best he can, but will soon start knocking on neighbors’ doors begging for a good meal, all the while repeatedly broadcasting bacon to be his favorite vegetable.
I’m steaming artichokes and roasting corn for lunch. I’ll likely need to redeem myself soon by making more man food for this atrocity against male nature.
Bread Machine Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns
1 1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons non-fat milk powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons shortening
2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 packet yeast (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
Add all the ingredients to the bread machine pan except flour and yeast. Top the ingredients with the flour, and put the yeast on top of the flour. Set the dough cycle and push start.
When cycle finishes, turn out onto a floured board and punch down. Knead 4 or 5 times; add a little more flour as you knead if necessary to keep it from sticking.
Cover dough with a clean dishcloth and let rest for about 30 minutes. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal.
For hamburger buns: Press dough into a circle and cut into 8 even wedges; form each wedge into a ball then flatten into a smooth and fairly even circle.
For hot dog buns: Shape these into long narrow snakes. (Makes about 12 or so.)
Place dough shapes on the baking sheet and let rest for about 20 minutes (cover with a clean dish towel or parchment paper).
Bake at 375 for about 18 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Makes 8 large buns.
Super Sloppy Joes
(Double the recipe for 8 sandwiches)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin (See notes below for grinding your own)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon steak seasoning blend, such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped (I used green)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 crusty rolls, split, toasted, and lightly buttered
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and meat to the pan. Spread the meat around the pan and begin to break it up.
Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and combine.
When the meat has browned, add onion and red peppers to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, peppers, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes.
Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer.
Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, pile sloppy meat onto toasted, buttered bun bottoms and cover with bun tops.
Notes: Instructions for grinding your own meat in a food processor can be found at http://www.ehow.com/how_2050012_grind-beef-home.html.
Super Sloppy Joe recipe belongs to Rachael Ray. Bun recipe by Diana Rattray from About.com with rewritten instructions for clarity purposes. Picture by Laura Flowers.