Hearty Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

  We’ve lived in our home for over 15 years, yet every time I make this recipe, I’m reminded of the day we moved our young family to our country home so many years ago.

If my memory serves me correctly…    My husband and I had moved a few basic items to our new home a few days prior to the “big” move that would take place on the weekend. On the morning of the “big” move, I made a large pot of sloppy joe meat in our new home kitchen before pouring it into a crockpot to be eaten later. I knew this would be a long day so I wanted to be sure to have plenty of food at the ready when our crew of movers finished up their job. After plugging in the crock pot, my husband and I headed back to our home in the city. There we were met by a fine group of young men that would take charge of the move. The company that we had hired employed a group of college students that were home for the summer and were trying to make a little money before returning to school in the fall. I have to say, these kids were awesome movers. They carefully wrapped furniture, lifted and carried an enormous load of boxes filled with everything from kitchen linens and cleaning supplies to garden tools and silverware. All of our heavy appliances were carefully loaded onto the trucks and carried across state lines to our new location.  
After a long drive, the cycle began again… The trucks were unloaded, hauling boxes, furniture and appliances into our new spacious home. The movers asked where we’d like things placed and willingly followed our directions as the sun fell from the sky and the crickets started to chirp.  

At the close of a long day of grueling work, I welcomed the group into our kitchen to share a meal. The guys scooped out oversized helping of sloppy joe and placed it on hearty brioche buns. A sprinkle of cheddar cheese completed the sandwich. Bags of chips, a crock of baked beans, and bowls of salad were wiped out in no time. Before leaving, one of the young men asked for my sloppy joe recipe as he wanted to share it with his mother. He also asked if there was any more meat left in the crock pot for one last sandwich. I quickly scooped out the remaining mixture with a spatula and slathered it onto a roll. “One more for the road”, he said, as he gulped down the sandwich in a few quick bites.

  
As the crew gathered up their belongings and headed for the trucks, my husband and I stood in the driveway and thanked them again for their hard work. The group happily patted their tummies and thanked us for the delicious meal.  

I look back on that day with fond memories…

This group of movers made the day fun, exciting and stress-free. I’ll always be grateful for their hard work, cooperation and expertise. It was truly a pleasure sharing this special day with such a fine group of young men.

  

  
Hearty Sloppy Joe Sandwiches   (adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook – 1988)

2 pounds ground beef

1/2 of a large onion, diced

3 stalks celery, finely chopped

1/3 cup chopped green peppers

1 cup catsup

2 1/2 tablespoons A1 steak sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8 teaspoonred pepper sauce

6 hamburger buns, split and toasted

Cook and stir ground beef and onion in skillet until brown; drain. Stir remaining ingredients, except buns. Cover and cook over low heat for an additional 15-30 minutes; just until vegetables are tender. Fill buns with meat mixture. Top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

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Crock Pot Italian Grinder

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I saw this recipe as I was searching for an interesting sub recipe last week. This one caught my eye because it looked so unique. On Saturday, I loaded up the crock pot with a variety of similar ingredients to make a mighty tasty sandwich.
There were a few things that I might rethink next time, though. First off, I have to figure out a way to add more ingredients to each of the sandwich sections. While I packed in as much as would fit, the sandwiches seemed a bit skimpy when I separated them from the loaf. Other than that, this thing was great! I am going to try it again today now that I have finished my trial run.
Below, I have printed my recipe for the ingredients to be used for the crock pot grinder.

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Crock Pot Italian Grinder

1 loaf of Italian Bread, unsliced
1/2 lb. sliced provolone cheese
1/2 lb. hard salami, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. Virginia ham, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. turkey pastrami, thinly sliced
Sliced onions
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced pepper rings, patted dry
1/2 tsp. oregano
Partially slice Italian loaf to resemble sandwich slices. (Do not cut through the bottom of the loaf). Layer sandwich meat, cheese, onions, tomatoes and peppers in individual piles.Sprinkle with oregano. On a cutting board, carefully pack each pile of ingredients into the sliced loaf making sure to fill only every other opening.
Double wrap the loaf in aluminum foil; making sure to fold and close edges firmly. Pour 1/2 cup water in the bottom of the crockpot. Place a heat proof bowl in the bottom of the pot to keep the sandwich above the waterline. The water will steam the sandwich as it cooks. Place the sandwich into the crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW temperature for 4 hours.

UPDATE:
Here’s another great combination

1/2 lb. provolone cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. hard salami, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. Virginia Ham, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. pepperoni, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons Chicago style mild giardiniera, to spread over bread

I just finished making the grinder a second time and boy it turned out great! I added pepperoni to the sandwich meat slices and used mild, Chicago style giardiniera to spread on the bread instead of the onions and peppers…ooey, gooey, melted cheese and lots of Italian flavor.

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Spicy Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

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Three simple ingredients, one delicious sandwich! If you like spicy, this sandwich is for you. On chilly fall mornings, when we head off to the Northwestern or Purdue University football games, this is one of our favorite take-alongs. I just unplug the crock pot and pack this deliciousness into the back of the car.
Yesterday, after days of warmer than usual weather, the skies turned gray, the heavens opened up, and the strong winds brought a stiff chill to the air. It reminded me so much of a fall morning, I pulled out a few chicken breasts and plugged in the crock pot. By the time the kids came home from swim practice, the chicken was done and the sandwiches were ready. That’s my kinda meal!

Spicy Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

6 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
1 stick of butter or margarine
1 12 oz. bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce

Place the stick of margarine or butter in the bottom of a 4-6 quart crock pot. Then add the chicken breasts. Cook on low setting for 6-8 hours, covered.
When chicken is thoroughly cooked and quite tender. Shred the chicken with two forks. Pour in the bottle of Frank’s Red Hot sauce and combine well. Serve on your favorite sandwich rolls.