Sloppy Joe Beer-Soaked French Fries

by Susan on November 6, 2017

sloppy joe beer-soaked french fries

There are certain things that I am obsessed with in the kitchen. One of them? How to make the crispiest possible fries without whipping out the deep fryer. I have used (and shared) countless techniques, and couldn’t way to try out this totally new-to-me method.

Beer. Yes, beer. Gluten aside I don’t drink the stuff, but I asked my husband to buy me a bottle of gluten-free beer for the sake of experimentation. I had read a couple of places that soaking cut potatoes in beer for a couple of hours would help yield soft insides and crispy outsides. I can’t really explain the science behind it, but I figured it was worth a try!

I was actually really pleased with the results. The fries got a little more brown than my usual oven-baked fries, and the interior was cooked to perfection. There isn’t one ounce of beer flavor, so no worries if you’re not a fan.

I was tossing around the idea of making chili cheese fries, but didn’t quite have the necessary ingredients. Instead I opted for my crazy easy and delicious sloppy joe recipe. You can use this for traditional sandwiches, but I think it tastes even more scrumptious on top of fries (if meat can taste scrumptious, that is!)

While my husband claims to loathe ground turkey, when it’s done up like this he has no qualms at all. In fact, he had three helpings! You could obviously use any ground meat, though, and there’s plenty of wiggle room when it comes to your choice of toppings. For us tomatoes and pickles are non-negotiable.

As written this fun recipe is gluten-free. Skip the cheese to keep things dairy-free, too.

Sloppy Joe Beer-Soaked French Fries

4 russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into fries (I didn’t peel)
1 tbs. salt
1 12 oz. bottle of gluten-free beer
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground black pepper

sloppy joe topping:
1 tbs. olive oil
1 lb. ground meat of choice
1 tsp. chili powder
2 green onions (chop and separate the white and green portions)
2 minced garlic cloves
3/4 cup organic ketchup
2 tbs. palm or organic brown sugar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded raw cheddar (can use dairy-free option or skip)
toppings of choice, such as halved cherry tomatoes, chopped pickles, sliced jalapenos, diced avocado, minced cilantro

To make the fries, combine the cut potatoes and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour the beer on top then fill the bowl with water until all potatoes are submerged. Soak in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.

When ready to bake the fries, preheat oven to 425°. Drain the fries, rinsing and patting dry thoroughly.

Whisk together the oil and seasoning in a large mixing bowl, add in the fries, and toss to coat. Spread the fries out on two large baking sheets, making sure they don’t overlap. You can cover the sheet with foil or parchment for easy cleanup.

Bake fries for 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through baking. Allow to cool enough to handle, then taste for seasoning (I added a little more sea salt).

While the fries are baking, prepare the sloppy joe mixture. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meat and chili powder; cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes.

Add chopped white part of the green onions and garlic, stirring to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add ketchup, sugar and Worcestershire sauce along with 1 1/2 cups water. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened (about 8-10 minutes).

To serve, spread meat mixture over fries. Top off with cheese, remaining chopped green onions and toppings of choice. If using cheese, you can also pop the meat and cheese-covered fries under a broiler for a couple of minutes before topping.

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