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Veal and Bacon Sloppy Joes

Prep Time15 minsCook Time1 hrTotal Time1 hr 15 mins

Making the homemade bacon barbecue sauce is worth the extra effort in this stepped up Sloppy Joe dish. You can double the barbecue sauce and keep extra in the fridge for other uses.

Bacon Barbecue Sauce:
 6 slices Ontario side bacon, diced
 1 onion, finely chopped
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme
 1 1/2 cup (375 mL) tomato sauce
  cup (75 mL) ketchup
 2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar
 1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
 1 tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar
 1 tsp (5 mL) smoked paprika
 ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper
 ½ tsp (2 mL) ground cumin and chipotle chili powder
Veal and Bacon Sloppy Joes:
 6 slices Ontario side bacon
 1 lb (500 g) lean ground Ontario veal
 1 onion, finely chopped
 ½ green pepper, finely chopped
 1 rib celery, finely chopped
 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
 4 whole wheat or white buns
Bacon BBQ Sauce:

Heat a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook bacon for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden, removing excess fat as needed. Stir in onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is soft.


Add tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, paprika, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Bring to boil, stirring to scrape and incorporate any brown bits into the sauce.


Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Sloppy Joes:

Heat a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook bacon for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Drain all but 2 tbsp (30 mL) fat. Increase heat to medium-high.


Crumble in veal. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in onion, green pepper, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender.


Add Bacon Barbecue Sauce. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and flavourful.


Serve on buns.

Cook’s Notes:

Serves 6

Substitute lean ground Ontario beef for veal, if desired.

For a milder version omit chipotle chili powder.

To dress this up a bit look for flour dusted artisanal buns.