Week 23: Barbecued Beef Mince

There’s an awful lot of tedious back story to this week’s new recipe; so of course I shall recount it all.

Nigella’s Barbecued Beef Mince recipe is on the page after last weeks triumphal Cheesy Chilli ( https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/week-22-cheesy-chilli/ ) and while I was cooking the chilli I kept looking at the picture of this brown stuff with nachos.  Then I read it:  Barbecued Beef Mince is the same thing as Sloppy Joes!  I had heard of Sloppy Joes but never tried it, and didn’t know what it actually was… it’s not the sort of thing my mum would ever have made with a name like that.

So I read the recipe, realised everything needed processing together and put it aside – my luddite kitchen was not equipped with a blender.  And then suddenly it was!

My lover’s boss was getting rid of his old mixer, he did this by offering it to everyone in the office, rather than putting it in a bin like any normal person.  When he lugged it through the door my heart leapt; YES!  I can cook all those liquidised recipes I have, and can eat meals through straws!  Boom!

I skipped off into town and bought the ingredients: 1 stick celery, 3 cloves garlic, 2 onions, 150g rindless smoked streaky bacon, 2 carrots, vegetable oil, dark brown sugar (3 tablespoons, 2 in the sauce) ground cloves (pinch), ground allspice (half teaspoon) 500g beef mince, 1 can chopped tomatoes, worcestershire sauce (3 tablespoons) bourbon (3 tablespoons) and tomato puree (2 tablespoons, but you can use sundried tomato paste if you like).  I was surprised how many of these ingredients I already had in my cupboard, this never would have happened in week one!

But then disaster struck… I decided to clean the mixer (it smelled like the last thing my lovers’ boss had liquidised was his underpants) and found that it didn’t work!  NOOOOOOO!  Faced with the prospect of Chunky Joes, I had to buy a mixer.  To cut a long story short the luddite days are over at Casa Del Crump:

There’s a preamble for you.  Behold my new toy; with some carrots.

The first stop in making this is to jam the carrots, celery, bacon, garlic and onions onions into the food processor and keep it spinning around until its all mushed up.  Like this:

Once it’s fully blended, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottomed lidded pan and cook the orange mush for 15-20 minutes.  While this is cooking, mix the can of tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, bourbon, tomato puree and add the tomato tin of cold water into a jug, and add 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar.  I only had dark muscavado sugar, so mine turned out like this:

I don’t know if it’s right.  It smelled kinda fishy…

After the orange mush has turned mushy-er and soft, add a pinch of ground cloves, the allspice and 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar.  Give it a good stir and add the mince.  At this point it will look horrible, like so:

A little like a brain.  Eww.  When the pink turns grey add the jug of sauce, stir it, lid it, turn the heat down low and leave it to simmer for 25 minutes.  While this is simmering away you could make a start trying to scrub the carrot dye off your sexy new mixer without cutting your fingers off.  Also, you can prepare your chosen serving suggestion.  I decided to try it with tortillas and in a bread roll (they were left over from last weeks burger night https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/week-4-burger-night/ )

I know the dish is called Sloppy Joes, but I wasn’t prepared for it to look like this:

I’ll admit, it put me off slightly.  It was like the ultimate protein shake.  Worse still, buoyed by the success of last weeks chilli I made the full amount so I could freeze portions, leaving me with an enormous vat of slurry on my hob.

It has a certain taint to it.  I can’t tell if it was the celery (hate celery) or the bacon/allspice but it wasn’t very nice straight from the pan.  Also it was very watery, maybe I needed to simmer it longer?  The bread roll wasn’t a good idea, it just got wet and my lover has a thing about wet bread.

I froze the rest of the Sloppy Joes, and had a portion on a baked potato the other day and it was much better after it had been through the freezer.  If I make this again (when I have a bigger freezer) I’ll make it and freeze it straight away!

Kitchen, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2010, ISBN 9780701184605)

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