Please join me in welcoming Judy Alter, who writes the Blue Plate Cafe Mysteries and says she loves spending time in the kitchen. She shares a favorite recipe with us today:
A friend gave me a recipe for wine casserole, which turned out so much like sloppy Joe that I called it that when I served it to my family. Recently, my oldest daughter asked for the recipe and cooked it for her husband, who pronounced that it was really good but it wasn’t sloppy Joe, which to him was meat and ketchup. (I think that’s a simplistic description.)
But she e-mailed me caustically, saying that she guessed she was the only one who grew up thinking red wine was an essential ingredient of sloppy Joe. You can serve this on toasted buns or just in a bowl, like a stew.
Judy’s Sloppy Joe (or Wine Casserole)
1 lb. ground beef
1 15-oz. can of beans (any kind you want), rinsed and drained
½ c. chopped onion
½ c. diced celery
2 Tbsp. bacon drippings (If you can bring yourself to use it in this health-conscious age; you can also use vegetable oil, but the bacon flavor really makes a difference.)
1½ c. ketchup
1½ Tbsp. Worcestershire
Dash of Tabasco
1 tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ c. dry red wine
1 Tbsp. A-1 sauce (If I don’t have this, I omit it; I can never tell the difference.)
Cook onion in bacon drippings. Add beef and brown. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20 to 30 minutes.
Murder at Tremont House is the second Blue Plate Mystery from award-winning novelist Judy Alter, following the successful Murder at the Blue Plate Café. Judy is also the author of four books in the Kelly O’Connell Mysteries series: Skeleton in a Dead Space, No Neighborhood for Old Women, Trouble in a Big Box, and Danger Comes Home. With the Blue Plate Murder series, she moves from inner city Fort Worth to small-town East Texas to create a new set of characters in a setting modeled after a restaurant that was for years one of her family’s favorites.