Sloppy joes. Even as a kid, I wasn’t ever a huge fan of sloppy joes. I think I figured out why. They are too sloppy.
You laugh. I can see you chuckling away… ok, I just know you are laughing at me right now. “She said sloppy joes are too sloppy?” I know, I know. Let me clarify. I am not a fan of soggy bread. Most of the time when I’ve had sloppy joes, I have this issue. I usually scrape all the filling out, throw away the bread and I’m as happy as a clam with the filling and a fork. So, needless to say, sloppy joes are not my favorite go-to dinner. In fact, I’m not sure I have ever actually made them.
I had huge chiles that were perfect for chile rellenos, plus it’s one of Bradley’s favorites so I knew I had to put some kind of recipe together. Over breakfast one day he and I tossed around all types of ideas for filling up these massive chiles. I honestly am not sure how we got all the way to making sloppy joe filling a perfect chile relleno stuffing. I mean, it’s a great concept. A thick beefy, tomato mixture that can stand up on it’s own, but that can also be stuffed into a spicy chile as a unique delivery system.
Making it even better, I figured why not make the filling more of a southwestern taste so that it really marries with the chile concept? So I made the first sloppy joe I made ever and added fresh roasted corn, and smoky spices like cumin and smoked paprika. It actually came out surprisingly well. I was a bit skeptical of the end result but mostly because of my sloppy joe reluctance, but it was yummy. Bradley was happy with it too. It had that slightly sweet sloppy joe tomato flavor, but a back kick of smoky chile.
Ok, now as I understand it, sloppy joes consist of a bun and filling. End of story. Well. As the joke goes – Bradley makes everything better with beer, bacon or cheese. So when you put sloppy joe filling in a chile relleno, which traditionally is filled with cheese, then you have to top it with cheese. That thick slice of monterey jack cheese melted over the top really seals the deal – literally, since it holds everything in.
I think I have changed my thought process on sloppy joes. I really, really like it stuffed inside chiles with melted cheese on top. I did try the filling again on a bun as a leftover. Nope. Same issue. The filling with a fork was delicious.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 corn on the cob, peeled
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 6 poblano or anaheim chiles
- 6 slices monterey jack cheese
- Heat a grill or broiler to high heat. Place the whole chiles and corn cobs on it and turn every few minutes to char on all sides. Remove from heat and let cool. On the chiles remove outer skin and cut one vertical slit in it from stem to tip (not all the way through) then remove the seeds. Repeat with all chiles. Cut all kernels off the cob. Set aside.
- In a large stock pot, heat the oil and brown the beef for about 5 minutes, breaking up as you stir. Add the onion and cook another 5 minutes until the onion is soft and the beef cooked through. Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, worchestershire, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, ketchup, corn kernels salt and pepper. Stir and reduce heat to low, simmer for about 20 minutes until thickened.
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Fill the chiles with the sloppy joe mix, and place in a casserole dish. Top with a slice of cheese, and heat in the oven until hot, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.