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Chefs Recipe Challenge: Sloppy Joe's

Chef Robert Black of A Good Egg Dining Group shows how to turn your Sloppy Joe's sandwich into a Sloppy Joseph.
by Dave Cathey Published: April 25, 2012

Time is winding down on the Chefs Recipe Challenge as we know it. We have two more recipes to tackle, the first of which is Sloppy Joe's Sandwich.

To translate the impetus for the Manwich into a gourmet dish, chef Robert Black was tapped. The corporate chef for A Good Egg Dining Group was more than man enough for the challenge. He arrived to the test kitchen at Culinary Kitchen, 7302 N Western Ave., armed with short ribs and the recipe to Sloppy Joe's into Sloppy Joseph's.

And why not? When one is tasked with overseeing operations at Red Prime Steak, Cheever's Cafe, Tucker's Onion Burgers, Iron Starr Urban Barbecue, and Republic Gastropub while planning for Tucker's No. 2 and new concept at SandRidge Energy that will be open to the public, a mere Sloppy Joe sandwich seems a small a task.

But small is not the way of chef Black, who perfected his skills as an apprentice at The Coach House and following up at the original Iguana Lounge and cementing his reputation as the original chef at The Museum Cafe.

Chef Black is a Chile-head who loves to combine his chef skills with slow-cooked comfort foods, making him the right man to come up with a recipe that will have those expecting Sloppy Joe's to sing “Sloppy Joe's, Slop-Sloppy Joe's” by the end of dinner.

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by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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Sloppy Joe's with pickle chips

(Serves 6)

For meat

2 pounds whole short ribs

1 cup salt

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups mirepoix (Includes 1 cup diced onion, ½ cup diced carrot, ½ cup diced celery)

1 cup red wine

1 cup veal demi glace (substitute beef broth)

1 cup chicken broth

Sauce ingredients

8 ounces onion

8 ounces celery

8 ounces red pepper

1 jalapeno

2 tablespoons oil (for sautéing)

32 ounces canned tomato

2 ounces minced garlic

8 ounces ketchup

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1½ Worcestershire

2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

Fried Pickles

40 sliced pickle chips

12 ounces Shiner Bock beer

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh black pepper

½ cup water

4 cups vegetable oil or shortening

6 premium hamburger buns


1 pound grated Fontina cheese

Cocktail onions

Jalapeno slices

Cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Rub short ribs with salt and brown sugar. In a large roasting pan or Dutch oven, braise the short ribs in the remaining ingredients.

When done, cool and refrigerate overnight in an airtight container.

To make the sauce, saute the onion, celery, red pepper, jalapeno and garlic in a medium heat skillet or saute pan for 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. Blend the ingredients until smooth with an immersion blender or in a food processor.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Slice cold short ribs into ½-inch slices and arrange flat in an oven-safe skillet or pan and cover with 2 cups of the sauce. Roast for 15 minutes.

While the meat is in the oven make the fried pickles.

Heat oil or shortening in a large heavy-duty wok, Dutch oven or deep-fat fryer to 340 degrees.

Combine the beer, ancho, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Gradually incorporate the flour into the beer mixture with a whisk until you have a thoroughly combined, loose batter. Dip the pickles in the batter and fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Toast hamburger buns, spread with a little butter for extra richness. Top with 4 slices of meat, drizzle on extra sauce and grated Fontina cheese. Add pickle chips if you like. Plant a small skewer of cherry tomato, cocktail onion and jalapeno slice through the top bun.

Serve with coleslaw and more pickle chips.

Source: Chef Robert Black, A Good Egg Dining Group


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