Recipe Review: Mary's Sloppy Joe's

I'm super excited to share todays recipe review because the originator of this dish is my boyfriends mother, Mary, and thus is one of his favorite meals. A couple years ago Mary created a little cookbook that included all of her recipes that she's been making for years. Since then every once in awhile when Travis (my boyfriend) is craving something homey, I know just what to make and this sloppy joe recipe is one of his favorites. I've modified it just a little but it still has that homemade midwest flavor. See full recipe after the jump.

In my version I've added bacon (of course) and replaced the cup of sugar with just a tablespoon of maple syrup, partly because I found it to be a little too sweet for my taste with all that sugar and I like how the syrup adds a subtle smoky, maple flavor. I also like to add a pinch of cayenne to add an extra kick.

This past weekend I also topped it with a lovely sheep's milk blue cheese, which was amazing, I would highly recommend it!

Sloppy Joe Recipe
1.5 lbs Ground Chuck
3-4 strips bacon
1 chopped medium yellow onion
1 chopped celery stalk 
8 oz can tomato paste
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbs. Mustard (I use dijon, but really anything you have would work)
1 Tbs. Maple Syrup (real)
1tsp. Cayenne (optional)
  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet until perfectly crisp and delicious, then remove from pan and set aside for later. 
  2. Add onion and celery to pan and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the ground chuck and cook until browned
  4. Stir in the tomato paste, ketchup, mustard, maple syrup and cayenne.
  5. turn down heat and let simmer for an hour.
  6. Before removing from the heat dice of set aside bacon and stir into the pan.
  7. Serve on a toasty bun with a strong cheese if you like.
  8. Enjoy!

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