Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tomato Free Sloppy Joes and Homemade Potato Salad

The following is a post I copied and pasted back in January from a friends Facebook feed. I have no idea who the originator of the recipe was - that is the thing about Facebook - things get forwarded and copied so much ... (This is as it was posted, I have not corrected any errors)

Philly Cheese steak Sloppy Joes 1 lb ground beef 1 small sweet onion chopped 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped 1/4 cup steak sauce (like A1) 1 cup beef broth provolone cheese buns Crumble the ground beef into a skillet and add the chopped onion and pepper. Begin to cook, when the beef is about half cooked, add the broth and steak sauce. Cook until all items are done and allow to simmer and cook down/thicken. I used hoggie buns from the bakery. Slice them open and filled 6 with the meat mixture. Then each was topped with a slice of provolone cheese. This was placed under the broiler for 3 minutes.
I  kept going back and looking at the recipe, wondering how it would taste. I save a great many recipes on the computer, and actually prepare very few of them. I make sloppy joes from scratch often, I call it Betty's Barbecue ( That is a tale for another day!) but there are times I do not want a real strong tomato/vinegar presence in my food. I work with a woman named Melissa who recently told me that Lee & Perrins Steak Sauce was her favorite, and that our regional grocery store chain, Food City, had begun to sell it again. I am fond of A-1, but Roger is not enthusiastic, so I thought, why not try the Lee & Perrins, using this recipe?

The beef broth I bought contained 2 cups, so I used two pounds of ground chuck. I like mushrooms, and Food City had sliced baby bellas on special for 99 cents, so I bought a carton. I used a very small amount of green pepper, because I find that too much green pepper in cooked dishes can be overpowering. The steak sauce I bought was labeled "bold", and when I tasted a drop, I found it had a very pleasant hot punch, but not too hot. I did purchase some hoagie rolls and provolone cheese, but tested the final result on toast with a slice of American cheese. It is my understanding that Philly Cheesesteaks traditionally use Cheez Whiz, so the American probably gives a more authentic taste. This is a very loose meat filling, so I would recommend eating it with a fork and knife regardless of your bread or cheese choice. Our accompaniments tonight will be mild banana pepper rings and homemade potato salad. I am also sharing my basic, bare-bones homemade potato salad method - which is short on exact measurements, because that is the way I cook most of the time

So here is my final ingredient list and instructions. 

  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup Lee & Perrins Bold Steak Sauce
  • 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, large dice
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips

Heat skillet over medium heat and crumble beef into pan, breaking up with a fork (Oh, I use one of those hard plastic pasta servers to do this step. They work great.) Once the meat has begun to cook, add mushrooms, onion, and pepper. Stir frequently to make sure the meat is in small uniform pieces. Once the meat has released all of the fat and the vegetables have softened, drain the juices and return to the stove. Add the beef broth and steak sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes, this will reduce the broth and thicken the mixture. 

Tomato Free Sloppy Joes

  • 8 to 10 medium redskin potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, diced
  • about 2 cups mayonnaise
  • one healthy squirt French's yellow mustard
  • about 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • sweet paprika for garnish

Place whole, unpeeled potatoes and eggs in a saucepan. Cover with water and add about one tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. After about five minutes remove the eggs and set aside to cool. After ten minutes, test the potatoes to see if tender using a paring knife. If the knife easily slides through the potatoes, they are done. Drain the water and set aside to cool. I usually let the potatoes cool for about 20 minutes. While they are cooling, I peel and chop the eggs and dice the onion. Put the mayonnaise, mustard, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add the eggs, onion, and pickle relish. Peel the cooled potatoes and cut into whatever size is your preference. I prefer chunks (or a dice) that are less than 1 inch in size. Add the potatoes to the mixing bowl and stir. At this point, taste test for salt, pepper, and mayonnaise. Adjust to suit your preference. Transfer to a storage/serving bowl and sprinkle with paprika. Chill in refrigerator, or if you are like me, have a bite or two first! You can tell where I sampled by the smear on the left side of the bowl.

Homemade Potato Salad


  1. Thank you for sharing these. I haven't ever heard of a Tomato-less sloppy Joe. You really make me want to try this. I wonder if it would have been different had you of gone with A-1. Also the simplicity of your potato salad is pleasant. Is it a regional thing to have paprika as a finishing touch? I haven't had that added, but it does ring like deviled eggs. You reviewed the sloppy joe recipe with precision.. I am interested in the story of Betty's Barbecue. There is always such wisdom in your posts, and I look forward to reading more.

    1. A-1 is has more of a mellow flavor profile, so the bit of hot this has would be lessened considerably. The paprika on the potato salad is something my family has always done, it adds a wee bit of flavor, but I like the eye appeal. Mom used to not add the eggs to the potato salad, but slice them in rings decorate the top with them than sprinkle on the paprika. There are so many variations to potato salad, but in general this is my method. If there had been any celery in the refrigerator, I may have added some sliced celery. Or sliced green olives with pimiento. I used to put dill in my dressing, or dill pickle juice, but Roger is not very fond of dill in potato salad so I do not do that any more. When we cook for others, we take their preferences into consideration, don't we? Or at least I try to. I may write my Betty's Barbecue story and share the recipe soon. It is a favorite story from my teenage years. As always, thank you for reading and commenting. I cherish the feedback.