* * *Don't get me wrong. I love the name Manwich.
Whoever came up with that name is a bona fide genius. Manwich. Talk about something you can sink your teeth into. And before we get started in earnest, let me come clean right up front and say that I've purchased my share of Manwich. I've browned the ground and poured the sauce, spooned the result onto buns and called it dinner many times.
Frankly, I probably will again. But in this perfect world that is my blog, the creation of a sloppy joe would always include the following scene and would not result in a sloppy joe, but in a sloppy erin:
You dig that? That there is your real can opener and let the world know that when I first met the Goat, it was the only can opener he would use. Yes, I have a manual clamp-and-turn can opener (that I keep in this drawer). No, I don't have an electric can opener.
Enough already. Let's go.
Finely chop one medium regular yellow cheap onion, one large rib of celery and a half a green pepper, (you could use a red pepper, or even a combination of the two).
Get a pound or so of ground beef and throw it in a skillet. I like to get about a pound and a quarter of the regular 80/20 ground beef because it has a better flavor than your very low fat ground beefs (I love that I just typed "beefs").
Now throw all those raw chopped veggies in with the raw beef. Yes, this is counter-intuitive. No, I don't care. Put them in there. I'm serious.
Start browning that unearthly combination up. Get making with the spatula proper, chopping and turning until the beef is cooked through.
Drain time. You want to put a lid over this mother and pour off the fat, that's your gig and I'm not stepping on it. Roll how you want to roll. On account of using a fattier meat, I don't make with your pour-off-the-fat method, but spoon it all into a sieve and push out the excess fat (Al the Retired Army Guy is probably calling the police right now to report me over that one). All this cooked and drained crap goes into a clean two- or three-quart sauce pan.
Now add a couple shakes of pepper, about a teaspoon of salt, a couple shakes of Worcestershire (good christ that's a queer word to type), a tablespoon of red wine vinegar (and you people know by now that if I list a measurement like that, I'm pretty serious about it [read: DO NOT PUT TOO MUCH VINEGAR IN THIS]), about a quarter cup of ketchup, a half tablespoon of sugar and one eight-ounce can of tomato sauce.
If you're like me, you don't have an eight-ounce can of tomato sauce but you do have a miserable little can of tomato paste that will not succumb to your regular clamp-and-turn can opener--a reality that undoubtedly stymies lesser housewives on a daily basis from coast to coast, but (as indicated by today's graphic) not your humble hostess (thank you, Goat).
Yes, the opening of a can of tomato paste is the only time I employ the Goat's old-time can opener. Maybe that says something about me; maybe it doesn't. Maybe you could say the same thing about the fact that I normally do not have a can of tomato sauce in my pantry. Don't complain, because those two twists of fate are what delivered this here recipe unto you. (Imagine me, seeing that can of tomato paste and that old can opener and thinking: I cannot keep this can opener and this recipe for sloppy erins to myself.)
Quit getting side tracked.
Mix your tomato paste with an equal amount of water. That there is your tomato sauce substitute. Add about a cup of it to your sloppy erins.
Stir everything up and taste that mother. Add more salt, sugar, vinegar (careful!), or tomato paste/sauce as needed and then bring that baby to a low simmer. Cover and and let it ride for about a half hour, then behold the finest not-sloppy-joe-sloppy-erin mixture you will ever eat.
Spoon your sloppy erin on buns (scoop out a bit of the bread from the inside of the top half of the bun to take some of the sloppy out of your sloppy erin). Scoop it up with crackers. Have it on regular bread. Put a shake of Frank's Hot Sauce on there or Tabasco if you like.
No, I didn't take any pictures of the sloppy erin. No, you didn't miss anything (they look just like sloppy joes), but in lieu of a sloppy erin pic, here is photo of a woman who just tasted her first sloppy erin.
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