Nostalgic dishes are among my favorite. It’s so hard to go wrong with a ‘comfort’ food that reminds you of your childhood. The other great part about this dish? It’ll feed a family. No joke. I fed four people dinner and still managed to have leftovers that lasted through through the weekend (and then some). That being said, feel free to half the recipe if you’re only feeding a couple of people and don’t want to eat Sloppy Joes for the rest of the week. The heat can also be increased or decreased depending on your taste. Add an extra chipotle or two, or even a dash of cayenne, for a bit of extra heat. The recipe below isn’t too spicy, but it does have a nice kick on the back end… just how I like it. As for the beer, this recipe is versatile. Beer is a primary ingredient, but only holds a supporting role. I used a homebrewed scotch ale that’s heavy on the molasses, but a dark Mexican lager or an amber ale will also do the trick.
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes, crushed
4 chipotles from a can of chipotles in adobo, seeds removed
3 to 4 tbs. adobo from the can of chipotles
3 tbs. tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dark beer, such as a scotch ale or dark Mexican lager
2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
3 tbs. ketchup
2 tbs. cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbs. ancho chile powder
1 lbs. bizon
1 lbs. 80/20 ground beef
Grated cheese, monterey jack and/or cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
Heat 1 tbs. oil or butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and chipotle pepper; cook an additional minute or two, stirring often.
Add tomato paste, ketchup, and spice and cook an additional 3 minutes, until the tomato paste turns a brick red color and the mixture becomes fragrant.
Stir in the bison and beef; use a spatula to break up the meat.
Once the meat is cooked through, pour in the beer and vinegar.
Turn heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes; add the crushed tomatoes and simmer an additional 10 minutes or so long as your patience allows you.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
If not spicy enough, add a dash or two of cayenne or chop up and add in another chipotle. If you’re looking for a bit more traditional flavor, stir in a big squeeze of ketchup to taste at the end. It’ll balance out the heat with a bit more sweetness. A tablespoon of brown sugar also works nicely.
Top the hamburger buns, sprinkle with cheese, and serve alongside the same beer you used to cook the Sloppy Joe’s.