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Sloppy José

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Sloppy José

By Emma Knowles & Lisa Featherby
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking plus cooling, pickling
  • Serves 6
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Sloppy José
This is a Mexican take on a Sloppy Joe. The pickled jalapeños, which have been adapted from a Diana Kennedy recipe, have a bit of kick to them - add them to taste. You'll need to begin this recipe 2 days ahead.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200 gm coarsely minced pork
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp each ground coriander and ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried Mexican oregano (see note)
  • Large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 400 gm canned whole tomatoes
  • 6 crusty white sub rolls, halved horizontally
  • To serve: good-quality mayonnaise
  • 400 gm firm fiore di latte, thinly sliced
  • To serve: lime wedges
Pickled jalapeños
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 jalapeños
  • 6 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 375 ml white wine vinegar (1½ cups)
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
Corn salsa
  • 2 corn cobs, husks and silks removed
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped coriander
  • ½ small Spanish onion, finely diced
  • Juice of ½ lime, or to taste


  • 1
    For pickled jalapeños, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add jalapeños and garlic, stir occasionally until just tender (5-10 minutes), add remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, then cool to room temperature. Refrigerate to pickle for 2-4 days before using. Jalapeños will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 weeks. Drain and coarsely chop before serving.
  • 2
    Heat olive oil in a frying pan over high heat, add pork and stir occasionally until browned (5 minutes), then set aside.
  • 3
    Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until tender (5-10 minutes), add garlic, spices and oregano and stir until fragrant (1 minute). Add tomato, breaking up with the back of a spoon, and stir to combine, then add pork, season to taste and cook until reduced (5-10 minutes). Season to taste and set aside.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, for corn salsa, cook corn in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water over high heat until tender (10-15 minutes). Drain, then when cool enough to handle, slice kernels from cobs, transfer to a bowl, add remaining ingredients and season to taste.
  • 5
    To serve, preheat oven to 200C. Spread rolls with a little mayonnaise, spoon meat over, then top with a few slices of cheese. Warm in oven until cheese starts to melt (3-5 minutes), add corn salsa and jalapeños to taste and serve with lime wedges for squeezing.


Dried Mexican oregano is available from Monterey Mexican Foods (see stockists p185); if it's unavailable, substitute dried oregano.
This recipe is from the February 2012 issue of
Drink Suggestion: Cold Mexican lager. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • undefined: Emma Knowles & Lisa Featherby