02 February 2012

Venison Sloppy Joes

If you went to public school, you KNOW the Sloppy Joe shuffle. My elementary school had Sloppy Joes on Mondays ... surely a way to use up any burger that had languished in the fridges over the weekend and the burger buns from Friday's hamburger and hotdog lunch ... it was also such an easy recipe that it got the lunch ladies back into their work week with minimal effort.  The Sloppy Joe lunch always had carrot and celery sticks alongside and some sort of canned fruit in those sad-looking plastic dishes behind the glass shelf shields. A carton of milk, napkin, straw, and there you have it ... public school lunch fare!

Long after I left public school, Adam Sandler made me laugh when I heard his homage to the lunch ladies and I have never been able to think about the humble Sloppy Joe without unconsciously singing a part of that song. Well, a couple weeks ago, I came across a Sloppy Joe post on my bloglist and thought what a fun lunch it would make. When I told Silent Bob that I was going to make Sloppy Joes, he laughed and said that he always made them for the kids when I was off at a long meeting or visiting friends. Yup, he said. Sloppy Joes and Tater Tots made for happy kids when I wasn't around to make dinner. We laughed about that ... the lowly Sloppy Joe saved a young father with three starving kids. Those were the days!

I used ground venison and a bit of ground pork in my version and of course, to get the 'processed sweetness' I used canned tomato soup and a bit of ketchup. So, shoot me! They were just as I remembered them!

Longing for an easy bit of lunchtime nostalgia? Go for it ... make those Slop-Slop-Sloppy Joes!

Venison Sloppy Joes


1 lb. ground venison (or beef)
½ lb. ground pork
1 medium onion, small dice
½ medium green pepper, seeded and small dice
1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 – 10 oz. can condensed tomato soup
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. garlic powder

burger or sandwich rolls for serving

Making the Dish:

1. Break the meat up into small chunks and brown it in a frypan over medium heat.

2. When the meat is almost all browned up, add the onion and green pepper and let it sweat, as the meat finishes up.

3. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.

4. Heat a slowcooker up and add half the sauce, the meat and veg mix, and the other half of the sauce. Stir gently, cover and let the Sloppy Joe mix slow cook on a 'low' setting for two hours (or longer depending on your schedule).

5. Just before serving, warm burger or sandwich rolls in the oven. Split them and serve the Sloppy Joe mix hot from the slow cooker. Carrot, celery sticks and canned fruit - optional - wink, wink!

Not me ... we had them with cold beers.

Now, for a bit more nostalgia I think I'll Google a search on Chris Farley and Adam Sandler down there in lunch lady land ...


  1. I have venison someone gave us in the freezer; I will give this to my son to grind up and we can try your recipe; had no idea what to do with this meat.

  2. We have lots of venison and sloppy joes is a favorite way to use it. My Mr. Rosemary has grown so fond of ground venison that he prefers it in hamburgers, meatballs, tomato sauce . . . you get the idea. (Fond memories of lunch ladies here!)

  3. I have NEVER made sloppy Joe's... I think it's an American thing but the other day I had some left-over mince from a lasagne and I put it between two pieces of bread and ate it... does that count?... yours looks incredible and I love your use of Venison here, that's genius!

  4. The nuns at my elementary and high school school made the best sloppy joes. I always made sure my mom gave me money that day. Yours of course look amazing. I love the celery stick, just like the cafe served.

  5. I have also, like Dom, never made Sloppy Joe's, but I have to admit these look pretty good to me. Just visiting from One Perfect Bite. Diane

  6. This is making me seriously hungry. I like using slow cookers for this kind of recipe - I don't know why people don't use them more. I understand if you're not too excited about your memory of school lunches but believe me it sounds better than anything I ever had at school.


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