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Sloppy Joes with Maui Onion Straws

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 24 mini sandwiches
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For the Sloppy Joes:

1/4 cup canola oil

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and diced

1 red onion, diced

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

24 slider rolls or sweet Hawaiian rolls

For the Onion Straws:

2 cups canola oil

1 large egg

1/2 cup milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 sweet onion (Maui or Vidalia)


  1. Prepare the sloppy joes: In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, combine the canola oil, bell peppers, jalapeno and onion; cook for 5 minutes. Add the beef and pork; cook thoroughly, breaking up the meat as it browns. Add the garlic. Depending on the amount of residual grease, you may need to drain some of the fat from the pan. Deglaze with the red wine, then stir in the remaining sloppy joe ingredients (except the rolls) and season with 1 tablespoon each salt and freshly ground pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick as it simmers, add up to 1 cup water to adjust the consistency. Toast the rolls and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the onion straws: In a medium sauce pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees. Whisk the egg and milk in a medium bowl. Mix the flour, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper in another medium bowl. Cut the onion in half, then slice into 1-inch-thick half rings; separate into short straw-like pieces. Add to the milk mixture to soak.
  3. Once the oil is hot enough, remove the onions from the milk mixture, shake off excess and dredge in the flour mixture, 4 or 5 pieces at a time. Add to the pot and fry until golden brown; transfer to paper towels to drain.
  4. Serve the sloppy joes on the toasted rolls and top with onion straws.