“Sloppy Joes” is in quotations, because when I think of sloppy joes, I think of how my mama made them. She isn’t much of a cook, so hers were just ground beef browned in a pan with Manwich Sloppy Joe sauce poured over them. Nothing wrong with that! I have a bit of a (hopefully temporary) challenge when it comes to cooking, though. (See the previous post about Cooking without a Kitchen.) When I used to have a kitchen, I made sloppy joes with a sauce made from scratch, but my current storage and appliance challenges mean that everything we make has to be scaled down. But scaled down doesn’t have to be boring! Sometime around 2 AM the night before when our 2 yo kept waking us up, I got to thinking about how little was in my pantry and what I could do with it. It occurred to me that barbecue sauce must be pretty similar to Manwich sauce (we call them sloppy joes in the South), so why not pour it over ground beef and make sort-of-sloppy-joe-sort-of-barbecue-sandwiches? Here’s how I made them:
First, my setup – our little makeshift pantry (a hideaway desk) is already covered with our other small appliances, so the pressure cooker actually sits on top of a large jewelry box. I use my husband’s desk, which is right next to it, for a little extra surface area to get organized on.
My pressure cooker has a browning function (great for less cleanup!) so it can essentially pan cook as well as pressure cook. I used this function to brown about 3/4 lb of ground beef. I don’t measure, and I often choose my spices and seasonings at random, but here’s what went into the beef this time:
I completely browned the ground beef on my pressure cooker’s “browning” function and did not use the pressure cooking function at all this time. I added the two seasonings while it was cooking, and poured the Bullseye Texas-style BBQ sauce over it once it was done, heating just a little additionally to warm the sauce.
Once it was all cooked and rewarmed with the sauce – which was a slightly spicy and totally delicious barbecue sauce I spooned it out and onto an Arnold’s potato roll. 3/4 lb of meat made two sandwiches, and since it was only dinner for me, I had leftovers for breakfast!
This turned out to be a quick, easy to clean up, but most of all, cheap dinner.