Comfort Food Week: Sloppy Joes

The idea for this dinner was borne out of the desire to cook a lasagne, which seems to be the only thing that I feel like I could eat when I have that ‘I don’t know what to have for dinner’ feeling. Unfortunately, though, I don’t think it’s worth making a lasagne unless you do it properly, which takes a long time and isn’t something I want to be doing when I get home from work. It’s definitely one of those things you need to cook up a big batch of on a rainy day and then freeze it for those desperate moments when only lasagne will do (there will be more on this another day). Every time I make any kind of mince-based meal though, I tend to make twice as much and freeze the rest, so I can have another dinner or two without any more effort than taking something out the freezer and reheating it.

This dinner is perfect for those days when you want to just put some stuff in a pan, let it sit there, and then eat it straight away without cooking anything else to go with it. Minimal washing up, minimal effort, total comfort. There is something incredibly comforting about eating a your dinner out of a soft white roll which is full of meat and cheese, whilst sat on the sofa in front of the tv.

I know that Sloppy Joes are generally cooked with some spices and peppers in, but I wanted to use the leftovers for bolognese so I just made the ragu the usual way. If you wanted to make these more authentic, some chilli, cumin, paprika and red peppers would do the trick. Obviously you could easily make these veggie by using Quorn mince and leaving out the bacon.

Sloppy Joes

Serves 2, with half leftover for freezing

500g minced beef/Quorn mince

4 rashers streaky bacon

Olive oil

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

1 carton passata

Glug of red wine

1 tablespoon oregano

Salt & pepper

Cheese and a bread roll, to serve

Method

Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry the bacon. Whilst the bacon is frying, chop the onion finely and add to the bacon once crisp. Cook gently until the onions are soft. Add the garlic, crushed, and the mince and cook until browned.

Once the mince is browned, season and add the oregano, tomatoes and red wine. Simmer for as long as you can, at least half an hour. Serve dolloped into soft bread rolls with a good grating of cheese. Eat with a salad if you feel the need to be healthy, but make sure you have napkins to hand!

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