For those game or movie nights with friends… I usually walk into my kitchen and whip up something like comfort food – using whatever ingredient I find. The other night, looking to make a casual dish, I found some ground beef and hamburger buns. Sloppy Joe came to mind. I googled Joe and it turned out he was a cook in Sioux City, Iowa who made his variation of the popular “loose meat” sandwich. Joe’s version has ketchup, onions and other seasonings. It was time for something new with an Indo twist. I found ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce) and some other seasoning.
So out comes the wok and I started my ritual …a little bit of this and a little bit of that (the mere smell of sautéed shallots and garlic got my friends salivating)…. and 20 minutes later, Tadaaa! I present to you; ‘Sloppy Jeff’ – loose meat sandwich Indo Style! Serve with plenty of napkins.
Here is the recipe of what can be added to my collection of new Indo Fusion dishes – the evolution never ends:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound ground sirloin
6 tablespoons ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce)
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
½ teaspoon ground cloves*
1 teaspoon sambal oelek
Salt to taste
4 soft rolls, split, toasted
1 spring onion, slice thinly,
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add oil and saute chopped shallots until translucent, then add garlic and sauté further for 30 sec. Add the meat, spread around the pan and begin to break it up and brown it. Add sambal oelek and spice mixture. Reduce heat to medium and add sweet soy sauce and water with meat, cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Jeff mixture 5 minutes longer. Using a large spoon pile sloppy meat onto toasted bun bottoms, add some sliced spring onions and cover with bun tops. Serve with sliced tomatoes, cucumber and mango. Additional sambal oelek (red pepper paste) on the side.
* Variation: replace ground nutmeg and ground cloves with 1 teaspoon of ground coriander (ketumbar) and add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin (jintan)
© Jeff Keasberry 2012