[caption id=“attachment_3384” align=“aligncenter” width=“614” caption=“the cannibal’s "sloppy lamb”“][/caption]
when the new york weather was cool, but mild enough to enjoy lunch outside (not this recent glorious tuesday. i mean, back in october) allison and i convened at mad square eats where we met casey, of the cannibal. he prepared for us a memorably delicious and hearty sloppy lamb sandwich.
[caption id="attachment_3385” align=“aligncenter” width=“614” caption=“casey!”][/caption]
[caption id=“attachment_3383” align=“aligncenter” width=“614” caption=“how cute is he, in his "stackhouse” jersey?“][/caption]
the sloppy stuff and i go way back.
in elementary school, one of my classmates –let’s call her miss b– would bring manwiches for lunch.
i want to say she had them every day –that’s what it seemed like to me, anyway. but surely any and every time she sat across from me it was the most terrible torture. not that her actual sandwich inspired envy – a modest amount of manwich, spread between two slices of untoasted white bread (never a bun, so that the sauce would soak through. the whole thing transformed into a mottled orange mess as she cuddled it.) she ate with a creepy, finger-licking gusto– the scene was an appetite suppressant, really. but i could separate the experience of watching her with my understanding of the thing itself: a saucy ground meat fest. i wanted my own.
a short time later, i started cooking on my own, using the "i can cookbook” by sophie kay (which i still have). sloppy joes (or, in ms. kay’s volume “the texas dean”) were what i made best and most often. i overstuffed mine (that is, when i bothered to eat it properly, with bread).
i hadn’t made a single one since…the 80s? but casey and the cannibal’s “grown-up” lamb version got me thinking…
i found a recipe online. this source has meat-cred: daniel holzman, of the the meatball shop .
here’s how it turned out:
I ate it (with gusto) every day for a week.
hope you’ll try it and like it, too:Lamb Sloppy JoesRecipe by Daniel Holzman, chef of The Meatball Shop via men’s health
What You’ll Need:
1 ½ pounds ground lamb shoulder
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 bell peppers (green, yellow, and red), seeded and finely chopped
1 Tbsp paprika
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
pinch of cayenne
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
¾ cup white wine
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
8 brioche or kaiser buns, toasted
How to Make It:
1. In a large pot, sauté the lamb in the olive oil over high heat, stirring frequently until browned and beginning to crisp, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lamb from the pan and reserve , being careful to leave any oil and rendered fat in the pot.
2. Lower the heat to medium, add the vegetables and spices to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 10 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, vinegar, sugar, ½ cup water, salt, and reserved lamb. Bring the stew to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook until thickened, about 30 minutes. Serve on buns.
ps. i chose to make this without the red, green, and yellow peppers – i made a side salad with good greens instead.
photos © anita aguilar