Sophisto Joes

by Cate on October 16, 2007

Growing up, I remember an assortment of entree meals that my mom had in a semi-regular rotation … Jambalaya, this really good creamy Salmon and Rice dish (which was the only way, back then, that I would eat salmon; maybe one day she’ll fork over the recipe), Spaghetti Arrlechino (I’m sure I’ve butchered the spelling, but it’s a recipe she brought back from a cooking class she took when we lived in Italy) and Sloppy Joes. The Sloppy Joes (the warm, meaty kind, not the sandwich kind) recipe came from a friend of the family and made for a great, no-thought-needed weeknight meal that you could throw together in merely minutes.

When I moved out, I made a copy of that recipe, but over the years, it’s evolved into something I just wing. A little of this, a little of that, and you have a hearty, crowd-pleasing, casual supper on the table. The other day, while waiting for Nicholas at school, I read through the October issue of Gourmet magazine and spied their recipe for Sophisto Joes. Intrigued by the addition of red wine, it became dinner. Hearty and tummy warming, I’d definitely make it again, but I’d drain the ground beef next time – they didn’t and it made for a little more oil than I’d like. Eat up!

Sophisto Joes
Recipe courtesy of Gourmet magazine

These are the Jay Gatsbys of sloppy joes—suave, debonair. But we’d be remiss if we let the black-tie frippery of these cosmopolitan joes belie their true nature: Just as with Fitzgerald’s famous hero, there’s substance underneath all that class. These civilized sandwiches are hearty, delicious, and perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Active time: 25 min Start to finish: 35 min

Servings: Makes 4 servings

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained (I used crushed tomatoes to save the first step of the directions)
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb ground beef chuck
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
4 kaiser rolls, split Preparation

Purée tomatoes in a blender. Cook onion and garlic in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add carrot, celery, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add beef and brown, stirring to break up lumps, 5 to 6 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add puréed tomatoes, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar and boil, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and sandwich inside rolls.

Cate’s Notes: Drain ground beef.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Heather October 24, 2007 at 11:09 pm

I love sloppy joes! I will have to try this recipe.

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