Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sloppy Joes

A lot has happened in the last two years. The boys grew (a lot) and both now play football. My new one-year contract job has changed titles three times and should last over a year into the future. Our dog died. We got a new dog. We visited Chris's parents on the island. My parents both turned 70 (and were each thoroughly celebrated). And Chris got sick. It's taken nearly two years, but we might finally have some answers on that front. 

Just before Christmas, our stove died. The dishwasher was also on its last legs. So, we decided to replace the old flooring while we had both appliances out - why not?! And then the flu hit. It has been so awful for all of us for well over a week. The doctor said if Chris got any worse to take him to the hospital. That bad. 

Work has been amazingly busy these past few weeks, and I have zero ability at the end of the day to come home and make dinner. There are times this kind of chaos and difficulty inspire amazing dishes. 

Today was one of those days. 

Sloppy Joes


4-5lb ground beef (or whatever meat you want)
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
2 onions, chopped
1 large finger of ginger, diced
1/4cup coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp fennel seeds
4 sticks cinnamon
20ish green cardamom pods, ground (or 1/2 tsp ground)
15ish dried juniper berries, ground
1 tbsp dried garlic or 1 head fresh garlic, minced
5 dried figs, chopped (or a handful of raisins)
2 green apples, diced 
1-2 tsp salt, to taste
1-3 tsp black pepper, to taste


1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 loaf French bread
Butter, garlic, salt


1. Heat the coconut oil, add the spices, then the onion, ginger, and garlic

2. Once #1 is fragrant, add the meat. Now really, don't be super concerned about the method or timing here; if you do this 2 minutes after you add the garlic, great - if it's 15 minutes later and the onions have browned and the bottom of the pot is dark, no worries. It will be yummy, I promise. If pieces brown to the bottom, add some water and scrape them off. That's flavour. 

3. Add in the rest, whenever. Figs and raisins always benefit from being in the pot longer. If you'd like the apples to add a punch of fresh, add them right at the end. 

4. Cut the French bread lengthwise, like you're going to make a huge sandwich. Butter, garlic, and salt it; broil or bake like you would to make garlic bread. I like doing this in a cast iron skillet with the loaf cut in quarters. 

5. Serve; garnish with green onions, cilantro (any herb would be great here, including celery leaves), and eat with the garlic toast. 

I can hardly wait to have leftovers for breakfast tomorrow.