Step into the past with this Keto Friendly Mashup Recipe. A quick and easy low carb dinner that will make you feel like you're back at your childhood dinner table. Sloppy Joe Shepherds Pie is the Perfect Comfort Food you crave on cold days
I’d like to start off by saying I was neither high nor drunk when I came up with this. I'd been thinking about something fun I could do with keto recipes to make them more interesting. I decided that I’m going to begin a new series of recipes called “Keto Mashup”. I take 2 dishes and combine them in some manner. The idea popped in my head thinking about how I could make a keto version of a sloppy joe. I didn’t want to the same old sloppy joe recipe we all grew up on. Obviously, I’m not going to serve it on bread, even though I’m sure there’s some delicious keto buns that this recipe would be great with.
I’ve seen a bunch of keto shepherd's pie recipes that all look fantastic. However, I wanted to put a little more of a twist on it than just switching out beef for lamb. Changing the whole flavor profile completely while still maintaining some of the basic techniques. Sauté veggies, brown the meat, make a sauce and top with mash potatoes...or mashed cauliflower in this case. I noticed that the mashed cauliflower just doesn’t seem to brown like potatoes even though I sprayed butter on the top. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to add some cheddar cheese and jalapeños.
To be honest as I made this for the first time I had no idea if this was going to suck. Would the sauce be too greasy?? Would the cauliflower mash sit on top or would it just melt into the beef and look like a hot mess. As you’ll soon find out if you make this dish, it’s amazing. The Creamy Cauliflower mash is a perfect topping for the sweet and slightly spicy sloppy joe mixture. The cheese and jalapeños on top take this keto mashup to another level.
I was lucky enough to film this video in one take but I wanted to change a few things that I wasn’t completely happy with. A lot of us low carb people are looking for the higher fat ratio ground beef grinds and I agree a tube of 73/27 is juicy and delicious. As the ground beef cooks you’ll soon have a swimming pool of grease that ends up steaming the beef instead of browning it.
For this particular dish I highly recommend using at least an 80/20 grind or a lean 90/10 cut. I can’t believe I’m saying this but even using lean ground chicken or turkey would work in this case. Even with the lean meat you may need to drain off any excess liquid. Remember it called sloppy joe not Greasy Greg. Lol
Well as I researched this highly debated topic I discovered there are a few different theories. Apparently in the 1930’s at a cafe in Sioux City Iowa “loose meat sandwiches” were a cheap economical way to use up lesser cuts of beef. As the story goes a crafty cook named “Joe” decided to mix in some tomato sauce and spices in with the beef and the sloppy joe was born.
The other story has roots in Havana and Key west at a bar opened on the exact day Prohibition ended named Sloppy Joe's Bar. The Island watering hole also served the Loose meat sandwiches even though the name of the bar had nothing to do with the sandwich. Sloppy Joes is still open to this day and apparently served over 50k of these messy masterpieces a year.
My first experience with the sloppy joe was at my family’s dinner table but I knew it as “Manwich”. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a cupboard in America in the 70s and 80s that didn’t have a can of the tomato based concoction in it. If your mother was a gourmet she would add her own special ingredient that made hers the best. If I recall my mother would add extra Worcestershire to the beef. In my opinion it was the best on the block!
The colorful commercials of the 80s would always have a hungry child uninterested in dinner until the patriarch of the home would proclaim “its Manwich night”. Because “A sandwich is a sandwich but a Manwich is a meal". I shuddered to think of all the added sugar that was in that can combined with the horrific white hamburger buns I would pile high with the messy mixture. Thankfully today’s keto version is full of all those nostalgic flavors without all the carbs.
I know we are all busy people looking for hacks and shortcuts to make life easier. I’ve got one that I’m quite proud of. I know you’ll never go back to making cauliflower mash any other way. You know that old microwaveable rice cooker that you got at a pampered chef party that you never even took out of the box??? Oh you didn’t get suckered into that like I did. Well good for you.
If you’re not familiar these Microwave Rice Cookers they make cooking Cauliflower Mash a breeze. Simply throw a head of cauliflower in in the cooker along with some heavy cream, cream cheese and salt. Microwave for two rounds of 6 minutes (12 total) and you’ve got tender delicious cauliflower mash. You just need to blend it up smooth with your Stick Blender. By the time your sloppy joe mixture is done cooking your hot fresh cauliflower mash is ready to slather on top.
I hope that making this time machine dinner brings you back to a simpler time when sitcoms rules the airwaves and reality TV was called the nightly news! Just because you're all grown up but that doesn’t mean we can’t have our favorite childhood meals. We just have to clean up the ingredients a bit without sacrificing the familiar flavors we miss. Some keto recipes look good in the pics but disappoint on the plate. This one is a winner all the way and I’m willing to bet you’ll put this in the low carb dinner rotation for sure. Let me know what you think of the recipe and please share it with anyone who knows that Richard Dean Anderson is the only true MacGyver!!
To make individual servings portion the sloppy Joe mixture into 4 inch cast iron skillets.Top with cauliflower, cheese and jalapeno. Makes for great presentation.