Sloppy joes are one of the few foods I can think of that actually originated in the United States. Given that most foods we tend to consume here are not, in fact, native to the US (probably owing to the fact that we’re a nation of immigrants), you’d think we could come up with a more distinguished-sounding or unique name – I mean, it’s not like we’ve used up all the good names on the hoards of other national foods. Oh but wait. Apparently we DO have other names for sloppy joes! …but they’re all even more bizarre: slushburgers, hot tamales, taverns, wimpies, or yip yips. And no, I did not happen to know these off the top of my head, but found this out from my trusty old pal Wikipedia. If you had asked me five minutes ago what the following terms meant, here are the answers I would have given:
Slushburgers: what ends up caked on your boots when the temperatures rise juuust above freezing
Hot tamales: either the candy or, you know, actual hot tamales
Taverns: places people go to quench their thirst
Wimpies: what you hope your children won’t grow up to be
Yip yips: hyperactive toy-sized dogs
I’ll stick with calling them “sloppy joes,” but at any rate, whatever you call them, these are darned tasty! The meat filling gets a slight zippiness from the barbecue and chile sauces, and instead of sandwiching it between plain hamburger buns, I made cheddar jalapeño biscuits from scratch! Don’t worry, making biscuits from scratch really isn’t difficult or time-consuming at ALL, and the little bit of additional time will be totally worth it as soon as you bite into the flavor-packed cheesy goodness. Your sloppy joes may never want to return to regular old hamburger buns again.
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and chopped finely
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chile sauce (or ketchup)
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift flour and measure out 2 cups. Add baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir together until combined. Add chopped jalapeño and grated cheese and stir until the flour mixture has coated the surfaces of the jalapeño and cheese.
- Pour oil and milk together in a measuring cup, then add to the flour mixture. Stir gently until the mixture forms a dough and comes away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
- On a clean surface, roll or pat the dough flat to about 1/2-inch thick. Using a biscuit or round cookie cutter, cut dough and place circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the biscuits are in the oven, in a non-stick skillet, heat butter or margarine over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until no pink remains and the meat is slightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add diced onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- While the turkey and onions are cooking, in a separate bowl, combine chile sauce, barbecue sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and salt. Stir together until well-mixed.
- Once the onions are softened, add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the sauce/spice mixture to the skillet and stir to incorporate.
- Add chicken broth and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Top biscuits (either sliced in half horizontally or left whole) with meat sauce and garnish with avocado, cilantro, and cheese as desired.
- UPDATE (May 2015): We’ve found that we like adding a can of diced tomatoes along with the sauce in step 9 (you can then either omit or reduce the amount of chicken broth in step 10). This helps stretch the recipe a bit and adds some veggies as well. We also like to serve some corn alongside the sloppy joes.