Sloppy Spuds

This recipe is pretty easy to make, uses venison from this past deer season, and is a slightly different and delicious approach to sloppy joes. (Photo by Jerry Dilsaver)

March is a time of transition for sportsmen. Winter hunting seasons are winding down. Fishing is going the other way, with fish and anglers becoming more active. The beginning of Daylight Savings Time is a big plus too. Sportsmen can take advantage of this “extra” hour of daylight to enjoy the outdoors after work.

This recipe should fit well during this time. If you don’t try this in March, try it at another time. Once you try it, you’ll fix it again.

This is simple to fix and makes a good hearty meal. It’s filling and can warm sportsmen up after a day in the field or on the boat. It’s a slightly different approach to sloppy joes and I’m pretty confident most sportsmen will like it. Enjoy!

Sloppy spuds

Easy and tasty is a good combination for a recipe, and this one fits that bill well.

This is a combination of multiple sloppy joe recipes from over the years. I combined things I liked about several sloppy joe recipes, and left out or changed things I didn’t like. Then, I decided to serve it spooned over freshly baked spuds instead of on a bun. It’s much less messy than eating this as a sandwich. Many of my friends think it tastes better too.

It’s always a good time for venison, so whenever I can switch it out for burger in a recipe, I do.

As the meat is cooking, break up any larger clumps. Use a dinner fork and press down on clumps of ground meat to break them up. It’s simple and works well.

Many folks like to mince the onions and peppers they use in sloppy joes and similar recipes, but I prefer a little larger pieces so I get the taste and know the pieces are there.

The final dressing of this is up to the individual.  It begins with a hot potato on the plate that I score twice lengthwise and multiple times crosswise, then fold open to expose more potato. Spoon the venison sloppy joe mixture onto the potato. Some folks like a lot and some only want a little. This is pretty good and I’ll suggest covering the potato pretty heavily. The last thing is adding the extras. I’ll have raw chopped jalapenos, shredded cheddar cheese and hot sauce (I like the sweet smoky flavor of Texas Pete Cha Sauce) for all to add as they prefer.


  • 1 Pound ground venison
  • 4 Medium baking potatoes
  • 1 Medium sweet onion
  • 1 Cup baby bell peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 1/2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1/2 Cup ketchup
  • 2 TSP brown sugar
  • 1 TSP mustard
  • 1 TSP chili powder
  • 1/2 TSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TSP olive oil
  • 1/3 Cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Serve with hot sauce on the table.
  • Add a small bowl of chopped jalapenos
  • Have shredded cheddar handy


  1. If baking potatoes in the oven, begin them when you start. They will be ready at the same time as the sloppy joe mixture. If microwaving them, put them in after mixing all the ingredients and starting to simmer the mixture.
  2. Chop the peppers and onion.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet (I prefer to use cast iron).
  4. Add the venison and brown lightly. Break apart any larger clumps.
  5. Remove the venison.
  6. Sauté the onions and peppers in the venison drippings until soft. (You may have to add a little oil, depending on the fat mixture of the venison).
  7. Add the garlic to the peppers and onions and stir in slowly for a minute or so.
  8. Add the venison back into the pan and add the tomato paste, stirring all in well.
  9. Stir in the ketchup, water, brown sugar, mustard, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce, mixing well.
  10. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste, stirring it in well.
  11. Simmer over low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring well.
  12. When the mixture thickens, spoon it over baked potatoes.
  13. Individual diners can add hot sauce, chopped jalapenos and shredded cheese to their personal tastes.

Baked Potatoes:

This can be as simple as buying potatoes that are packaged as baking potatoes and following the directions on the wrapper. These can be quicker too, as many are packaged for cooking in the microwave. If you are baking the potatoes, wash them well, rub them lightly with oil and put them in a 400-degree oven. Some folks also rub them lightly with sea salt or Himalayan salt before baking them. (I avoid the extra salt). Baking the potatoes in a conventional oven will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the potatoes.

I like salads and usually serve this with a green salad or lettuce wedge. A piece of chocolate or fudge pie, topped with a shot of whipped cream is a great way to top off this meal.

The post “Sloppy Spuds” first appeared on

About Jerry Dilsaver 145 Articles
Jerry Dilsaver of Oak Island, N.C., is a freelance writer, as well as a former national king mackerel champion fisherman. Readers are encouraged to send their favorite recipes and a photo of the completed dish to possibly be used in a future issue of the magazine. E-mail the recipes and photos to Jerry Dilsaver at

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply