Top | late winter

revolutionary sloppy joes

(recipe, Sarah Gilbert)


When Jamie Oliver started his Food Revolution, I reserved a bit of skepticism. A reality show which seemed to focus on shots of obese teens crying? But I liked his approach, so I dove in to watch the show one day. And was hooked. By the fifth episode, I was hungry, hungry, HUNGRY. The sloppy joes he made at the high school by accident -- throwing in mushrooms with abandon -- had me licking my lips. I tried it at home, starting with his recipe and going way off track, but coming into one of the best simple meals I've ever made.


  1. 2 cups dried red beans (mine are Shepherd's grain, smaller than kidney beans and sweeter)
  2. 2 cloves garlic
  3. 1 tsp. salt
  4. a pinch of cumin seeds
  5. 2 large cloves (the whole spice)
  6. water
  7. *
  8. 2 Tbsp. olive oil, bacon grease, coconut oil or a combination
  9. 1 lb. good ground beef (or buffalo -- a little more won't hurt)
  10. 2 carrots, peeled and diced (about ½" or so)
  11. 1 yellow onion, chopped about the same size
  12. a handful of cremini mushrooms, chopped
  13. 1 16.0 oz. jar of canned tomatoes
  14. *
  15. 3 Tbsp. molasses
  16. 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  17. 2 tsp. worchestershire sauce
  18. 2 tsp. prepared dijon mustard
  19. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup


  1. First, cook the beans: heat water until boiling in a kettle.
  2. Put beans in a lidded crock (pottery, enamel or cast iron) with garlic (peeled), salt, cumin and cloves.
  3. Add boiling water, cover, and put in a 250 degree oven for 3-4 hours, until beans are just tender. Remove and set aside.
  4. Next, start the joes: