This didn’t start out to be Sloppy Joe, er… Giuseppe, sandwiches. It was supposed to be chili con carne, a hearty meal for a day when the temperature was so cold that only polar bears and penguins could face the outdoors.
But when I discovered I had no beans in the house, well, I had two choices. One, brave the frigid weather and go to the store, or two, turn the ingredients I did have into something else.
Needless to say, I did not venture out into the cold, cold night to fetch some beans. Instead, I transformed what would have been chili into a “Sloppy Giuseppe” sandwich – sort of like a Sloppy Joe, but without the vinegar or brown sugar found in most recipes for Sloppy Joes. I kept the chili powder and cumin I normally use in chili, but added the Italian twist with wine, tomatoes and basil, turning this “Joe” into a “Giuseppe” with definite Italian overtones.
Sloppy “Giuseppe” sandwich
1 pound ground beef (I asked the butcher to coarsely grind some lean meat from an “eye” roast)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup minced green pepper
3 T. olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1 16 ounce can chopped tomatoes
4 T. chili powder
1 T. dried basil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
dash freshly ground pepper
In a saucepan, saute the onion, pepper and garlic in the olive oil until wilted. Add the ground meat and saute until cooked through. Drain any fat that remains, then add the wine, tomatoes and herbs and spices. Simmer for about 1/2 hour and serve over crusty rolls.