South of the Border Sloppy Joes

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“South of the border, down Mexico way.
That’s where I fell in love, when stars above came out to play…”

If you don’t get that song stuck in your head every time you read this post you should really spend more time around singing cowboys.

Getting this song stuck in your head while cooking these delicious South of the Border Sloppy Joes makes them taste even better! Just don’t sing with your mouth full, and your mouth WILL be FULL!

I love when my own brain concocts wonderfully delicious new recipes, but sometimes these recipes come from other talented home cooks. In this case my brother is the brains behind this mouth-filling sandwich.

I’ll introduce my brother as Victor {although I will forever call him Jr.}. He’s a man of few words, unless he has something important to tell you. He doesn’t talk to hear his own voice, but when he has something to offer, you listen. So when he calls me to tell me about a recipe he just made up, I’m all ears!

But you should also know that I have a history of food-pessimism thanks to my dearly departed Grandma’s waffles. When I hear about a recipe that seems like too many things getting mixed together my radar goes off. So even though I trust my brother’s taste buds, I have to admit this one had me scratching my head in disbelief when he told me about it.

Show of hands:

Who loves it when their food is touching and gets all mixed together?

And who would throw away a plate with food touching and start over?

I’m not quite that extreme, but in MOST situations I want my food separated. Nothing confuses me more at a potluck than a compartmentalized plate with only three compartments when there are five foods I want to eat. Except for this rare exception, I don’t want my food to touch!

But, again, I trust Victor, so when he tells me to mix beans and slap ‘em on a toasted bun, I listen.

However, in true Noel fashion, I did put my own twist on it. Victor’s original recipe called for ground venison. The freezer is now restocked, but the first time I made this recipe we were out! I opted to use this shredded venison roast instead, but you can use roast or burger.


Here’s what you need:

Venison Roast or Hamburger  |  Sea salt  |  Steakhouse seasoning  |  Cholula sauce
Refried beans  |  Ranch style beans  |  Monterey Jack cheese  |  Buns  |  Onion  |  Jalapeno

This post may contain affiliate links. Affiliate link disclosure shared below.

Before you can make these oh-so simple sandwiches, you’ll need to pre-cook the meat. I made this roast in the crockpot, but you could also brown an extra 2 pounds of venison burger the next time you make spaghetti or tacos. Just remove the extra meat before seasoning, and freeze or refrigerate it.


Step 1 ~ 15 minutes

Chop up one jalapeno {with or without seeds} and half an onion.

Heat up a large cast iron skillet, add a little olive oil, and sauté the onions and jalapeno until they’re tender and smell dreamy.


Step 2 ~ 15 minutes

While the veggies are cooking, shred the cooked roast with a pair of forks.

Now the part that had me scratching my head. Grab a medium saucepan and dump in a can of ranch style beans and refried beans.

Do it. Don’t question it. I promise it will be amazing. Stir the beans together and heat the musical fruit together over medium-low heat until it’s nice and warm.


Step 3 ~ 5 minutes

Prepare the buns. For a meal like this I thought a nice package of onion buns would be appropriate, but any ol’ hamburger bun will work.

Open as many buns as you need on a large cookie sheet. Butter the bottom buns and arrange Monterey Jack cheese slices on the top buns.

Set the buns aside.


Step 4 ~ 5 minutes

When the peppers and onions are cooked to your liking, dump the shredded roast or pre-cooked burger in the skillet.

Add 1 Tbsp Cholula sauce or your favorite hot sauce.

Cholula Sauce is a favorite on all kinds of things for our family.

Season the mix with a few dashes of sea salt and your favorite steak seasoning.

Victor recommended Montreal Steak Seasoning, and I did look for it, but our grocery store was out of it. Instead I bought the Fiesta Steakhouse Seasoning, and I’ve since fallen in love with it and will keep it in stock from now on.

Add about a tablespoon of your favorite steakhouse seasoning and then pour in a little water.

The water needs to make the meat a tiny bit saucy. It doesn’t have to be super saucy {you’ll see why in a minute} but a little saucy would be nice.


Step 5 ~ 2 minutes

Keep the meat and the beans warm, and toast the buttered and cheesy buns under the broiler of your oven.

Go for a perfect golden brown on both the buttered buns and the cheese.


Step 6 ~ 2 minutes

Time to serve! Grab a toasted bottom bun and load it up with plenty of meat.

Top the meat off with a generous scoop of beans,

and add a cheesy bun on top.

This meal is best served outside with a bib. Whoever has a clean shirt when the meal is over didn’t eat enough.

Unless you’re serving these South of the Border Sloppy Joes at a large gathering, like a Super Bowl Party, you’ll probably have some leftover meat and beans. Hang on to those because we’ll use them in my next recipe, South of the Border Stuffed Peppers.

I’d love to hear what you think! Will you give this mess of a meal a try? Drop a comment below!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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