Sloppy Joes With a Difference

The nice folk at Southern Living shared a recipe for Sloppy Joes made with Dr Pepper and peperoncini (!) – and so, of course, I had to try it.

With a few tweaks here and there.

I also opted to use my Sloppy Joes as a pizza topping instead of a sammich and, I have to say, this, my friends, is a winner:

A little bit sweet, a little bit zippy, and all around tasty!

•2 tbsp olive oil
•2 cloves garlic
•1 cup diced sweet onion
•1 cup diced celery
•1/2 tsp dried oregano
•1-1/2 lb meatloaf mix (gr beef & gr pork)
•1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
•1 (7.5 oz) can Dr Pepper
•1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•1/2 cup sliced peperoncini
•1 tsp black pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1 tbsp brown sugar
•1/4 cup ketchup
•1 bay leaf

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Add the onion, garlic, and celery to the oil on a large pan and cook for ten minutes or so over medium high heat.

Add the meat – feel free to use all ground beef, or even ground turkey or chicken – and cook, breaking the meat up, until browned and most of the pan juices have cooked off.

Stir in the remaining ingredients, reduce the heat and cook, stirring often, for 30 minutes, until the sauce is nicely reduced.

Your sloppy joes are ready.

Go ahead and serve on rolls, mebbe with coleslaw on top, or…

turn your sloppy joes into a Sloppy Joe Pizza – topped with Colbyjack and Provolone cheese, and then topped with shredded lettuce after baking.

Note: I have been using these thin pizza crusts found with the pizza sauce and Boboli in the market, but go ahead and use your own dough of choice, home made or store bought, it is all good. I mean, it must be, it’s pizza, after all!

No matter what dough or crust I am using, or what type of pizza I am making, I like to brush a bit of aioli on the dough before topping. If mayonnaise is not your thing, brush a little olive oil on instead.

Heat your oven according to the instructions for whichever pizza dough you are using; my crust called for 400º.

Top your crust with the sloppy joe mixture – you will more than likely have extra, which is not really a bad thing – and then with sliced Colbyjack and Provolone cheeses.

Pop into the oven and bake until the crust is browned and the cheese all ooey-gooey and melty – for this crust at 400º it took about ten minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes before cutting and serving.

I topped ours with shredded lettuce, and then drizzled a bit of ranch dressing over the top for sloppy joe pizza perfection.


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