Lamb Sloppy Joes

LAMB FEST 2021 was a delicious day for lamb lovers and connoisseurs of good flavor. Seven of our nine teams shared their recipes to try at home for TABLE readers.

The chef teams who competed for the top prize at TABLE Magazine’s Lamb Fest 2021 brought their experience, imagination, and talents to SouthSide Works last October. The results were the nine fantastic variations on deliciousness. Each entry was unique in its flavor profile, in its textures, and in its presentation. It was a tough choice, but hundreds of attendees voted for their taste buds. Guest Judge Hal B. Klein supervised the count and announced the verdict. And the rest is lamb history.

Team Average Joes

Speckled Egg founders Jacqueline and Nathan Schoedel met up with R.C. Carter of Cioppino and free agent Patrick Duffy to create a luscious mouthful of savory lamb sloppy joes finished perfectly with luxurious creme fraiche and served on a tiny bun from Mediterra. The team rounded out this delicious picture with the sharpness of homemade pickled vegetables. This is a dish anyone can try, and succeed with, at home.

Lamb Sloppy Joes Recipe


For the creme fraiche:

1 pt heavy cream
2 tbsp buttermilk

For the lamb mixture:

1 lb ground lamb
Salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup Heinz ketchup
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup yellow mustard
5 dashes Tabasco
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Mix heavy cream and buttermilk in a non-reactive container (Tupperware works well).
  2. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature for at least 12 hours. Refrigerate.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add ground lamb and season with salt and pepper. While the lamb is cooking, break up the lamb into smaller pieces.
  4. When fully cooked, remove the lamb from the pan and set aside.
  5. Return pan to heat; add onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for a few minutes until fragrant. Add garlic and when the garlic becomes fragrant, add tomato paste, and stir frequently. Cook until tomato paste starts to darken, about 3 minutes.
  6. Deglaze the pan with white wine scraping the bottom of the pan. Reduce the white wine by half.
  7. Return the lamb to the pan and add the remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Stir often, bring to a boil, and then down to a simmer. Cook on the lowest setting for a half hour. Taste and re-season if necessary.
  9. Assemble sandwiches by adding sloppy joe mix to a bun and top with creme fraiche.

Story by Keith Recker / Photography by Laura Petrilla / Styling by Ana Kelly

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