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Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

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Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes are a burger and cheesesteak in every mouthwatering bite! Easy to make and ready in under an hour, it’s perfect as a sandwich, slider, or on its own

This post and recipe card updated July 21, 2019
Up close shot of finished sandwich on white paper with basket of fries in the background

If you asked me five years ago if I would ever eat game meat, I would tell you that you were insane. My parents are from Trinidad and I grew up a city girl, so it was never even a consideration.

I started eating game meat very slowly, beginning with bison burgers at The Garage, one of my favorite restaurants in Stillwater. Then Bob’s mom made venison chili at a tailgate. They didn’t tell me it was venison until after I ate a bowl and said I really liked it.

Eating game meat is one thing, making it myself is a completely different ball game. After a lot of hesitation and coaxing from friends, I gave in and made Venison Cheeseburgers with Jalapeno & Guacamole…and they were absolutely fabulous.

For my next venison recipe I wanted something simple, and something that would come together pretty quickly for lunch or dinner.  And that’s how I created Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
  • It is easy to make and tastes just like the traditional Sloppy Joe
  • Kids will love these sandwiches
  • You can make the filling ahead (except the cheese), and they’re also great for leftovers
Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

I mean, seriously…how good does this look?! It’s a burger, a cheesesteak, and Sloppy Joe all in one. There is so much delicious flavor in every single bite.

HOW TO PROPERLY FLAVOR VENISON FOR SLOPPY JOES

Game meat is extremely lean, so it needs help from proper seasoning and added fat.

Worcestershire Sauce: This is one of those sauces that I don’t know exactly what’s in it, but I really like the flavor. And if you don’t add the sauce when a recipe calls for it, the recipe won’t taste the same.

Bacon: I use thick-cut bacon, cut it into very small pieces. I also use some of the bacon fat to add moisture to the venison.

Fresh parsley: I use fresh herbs as often as I can, and parsley adds a really nice fresh flavor to the meat

Seasoning: salt, pepper, Onion Powder and Garlic Powder

Prepare the venison:

  • Break up the venison into a bowl
  • Add Worcestershire Sauce, bacon, parsley, and seasonings
  • Rest for 30 minutes
close up shot of finished sloppy joe sandwich with meat falling off the side
THE SAUCE IS THE KEY TO VENISON CHEESESTEAK SLOPPY JOES

Beef Broth is the base. I haven’t mastered homemade beef broth so I use store-bought, and always use no salt added. I have also used my Homemade Vegetable Broth and it works perfectly as well

Ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, as well as salt and pepper, round out the sauce.

A little bit of cornstarch thickens the sauce.

Don’t cook down the sauce too much, or you lose that trademark “sloppy” texture. It’s better to have a little too much sauce than not enough.

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

1. Crumble raw venison into a bowl
2. Add cooked bacon plus bacon fat, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce.
3. Mix to fully combine, and rest for 30 minutes

overhead process shots of 3 stages of preparing raw venison

4. Melt butter in a skillet, and saute onions for a few minutes until translucent. Add green peppers and cook until slightly softened.
5. Push vegetables to the sides, and add venison mixture in the center
6. Cook until venison is browned, mixing well to combine

overhead process shots of onions, peppers and venison mixture in skillet

7. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper and mix to fully combine
8. Combine broth and cornstarch in a small bowl, and add to skillet.
9. Allow the liquid to cook down about 75%

overhead process shots of sloppy joes in a skillet
OOEY GOOEY CHEESE…THE FINAL STEP

Don’t mix the cheese into the Sloppy Joes while in the skillet, or you won’t be able to see the cheese! Instead, melt the cheese in the microwave for about 20 seconds at 70%, and add it to the Sloppy Joes just before serving.

I use fresh-shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, rather than the traditional Provolone or Cheez Whiz. The Cheddar has a sharp bite that complements the venison really well.

I don’t go crazy with the cheese because it’s already an indulgent dish. But you can certainly add more if you’d like.

Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes. A fabulously flavorful combination of burger and cheesesteak. And did I mention bacon?! Enjoy these as sandwiches, sliders, or even just in a bowl. Just dive in, and make sure you have napkins handy! #venison #gamemeat #deermeat #cheese #cheesesteak #bacon #sandwich #sloppyjoe #venisoncheesesteaksloppyjoe #karylskulinarykrusade
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the best way to serve Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes? I like serving them on brioche buns, and you’ll get 4 generous-sized sandwiches. You can also serve them as sliders, or on their own in a bowl.

How do I prepare and store leftovers?

  • Do not add cheese or the meat will get very gummy when reheated.
  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.

How should I reheat Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes? I recommend adding a little more broth to help recreate that “sloppy” texture. Reheat in the microwave, heating for about 1 minute at a time at 70% until hot enough. Then add melted cheese and serve.

MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES WITH VENISON
MORE SANDWICHES & BURGERS
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Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes are a combination of burger, cheesesteak and "sloppy" in every bite. Easy to make, and ready in under an hour

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground venison meat
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth or vegetable broth (no salt added or unsalted)
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 Tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 6 ounces extra sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until done. Transfer bacon and half of the fat to a heat-proof bowl to cool slightly
  2. Break up venison in bowl. Add onion powder, garlic powder, 1/2 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce, bacon and fat, and parsley. Mix together until well combined. Let rest in the fridge for 20 minutes. Remove from fridge and let sit out for 10 minutes
  3. Melt butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add bell peppers, and saute for another 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened.
  4. Push vegetables to the side of the skillet, and add venison mixture in the middle. Cook for about 5 minutes until meat is just browned through, mixing everything together.
  5. Add ketchup, 1/2 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce, salt & pepper, and stir to combine.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk cornstarch into the broth and add liquid to skillet. 
  7. Allow broth to absorb, stirring occasionally. You don't want it to completely absorb, or it won't have the traditional "sloppy" texture. You want it to absorb about 75%.
  8. Melt the cheese in the microwave for 15-20 seconds at about 70% heat level. Portion sloppy joes onto buns, and add melted cheese on top of each sandwich. 

Notes

Game meat is extremely lean, so it needs help from proper seasoning and added fat

Don’t cook down the sauce too much, or you lose that trademark “sloppy” texture. It’s better to have a little too much sauce than not enough

Don’t mix the cheese into the Sloppy Joes while in the skillet, or you won’t be able to see the cheese! Instead, melt the cheese in the microwave for 15-20 seconds at about 70% heat level, and add it to the Sloppy Joes just before serving

I use fresh-shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, rather than the traditional Provolone or Cheez Whiz. The Cheddar has a sharp bite that complements the venison really well.

I don’t go crazy with the cheese because it’s already an indulgent dish. But you can certainly add more if you’d like.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the best way to serve Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes? I like serving them on hamburger buns the best. But you could also serve them as sliders, or just in a bowl

How do I prepare and store leftovers?

  • Do not add cheese to what will be leftovers, or the meat will get very gummy when reheated.
  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week

How should I reheat Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes? I recommend adding a little more broth before reheating, to help recreate that “sloppy” texture. Reheat in the microwave, heating for about 1 minute at a time at 70% until hot enough

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 784Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 211mgSodium: 2126mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 64g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients, etc

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