Mean & Sloppy Joe Greenes

I'm sorry to say that this will be my last post for about a week, but I'm pumped to head west on the Turnpike and take in all things Pittsburgh for my birthday weekend! Who goes to Pittsburgh for summer vacation?

This girl.

Since the Creative Director and I will be out of town for a few days, I thought it would be a good time to make an easy (and freezable) dinner so that we don't leave any snacks behind to go bad.

Pro Football Hall of Famer "Mean" Joe Greene was a career-long Steeler beyond the traditional sense. Not only did Greene play for the Black and Gold from the time that he was drafted in 1969 until he retired in 1981, accruing four Super Bowl rings along the way, but he went on to join the Steelers' coaching and later, player personnel staffs, adding two more championships to his resumé. Greene retired from the personnel staff this past May, ending a 27-year run with the Steelers - a career that spanned over a quarter of a century and earned him all six of the team's Super Bowl rings. 

As a member of the elite '70s "Steel Curtain" defense, "Mean" Joe was a four-time Super Bowl champion, voted to a whopping TEN Pro Bowls, and named the #13 NFL player of all-time by Non-football fans who may not remember Greene's hard hits, interceptions and fumble recoveries might have seen the Hall of Famer on the December 1975 cover of Time Magazine:

Not jogging your memory? The iconic 1979 Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad should do the trick:

"Mean" Joe lent his expertise to younger Steeler classes following his retirement as a player in 1981. His evolving roles over the course of his career with the Black and Gold gave him unique insight into how the game and players have changed, not necessarily for the better:

“It’s an attitude change. In all my years of being with Pittsburgh, I never encountered a player taking a contract dispute into the season and letting that dispute affect the way he played. That’s a bad thing,” Greene said. “I think that’s the attitude and direction that was so preeminent with the Pittsburgh Steelers; it was about family, it was about team, the organization. Everyone in the organization would get treated fairly because we were a family.” (

I get the feeling "Mean" Joe had you in mind, Mike Wallace

Greene was never sloppy on the field, but he sure was mean against opponents. Sloppy Joes are such an easy meal for a weeknight dinner (say, if you only have a small window of time after work and before Monday Night Football). This recipe worked out perfectly, as it allowed me to use up leftover onion and hamburger buns before I head out of town. It's easy on your wallet too - depending upon how well your spice rack stacks up to mine, you should only need to pick up some beef, peppers, and maybe a few rolls. (This dinner only cost me $4.12 in groceries - SCORE!) We're going to make it mean with poblano and jalapeño peppers in place of your typical green bell peppers and the addition of chili powder, cayenne and (my favorite) smoked Spanish paprika. 

I had a request today for more vegan-friendly recipes on the site. You could say I had egg on my face, because it had never even occurred to me that there might be some vegan football fans out there. My bad! Unless I'm missing something, you can substitute the ground beef in this recipe with TVP (textured vegetable protein, or soy ground "meat") and add about 1/2 cup water. Whichever variation you choose, just make sure you serve with an ice cold Coca-Cola!

P.S. Look for my vacation recap next week, complete with photos from Steelers Training Camp, the Buccos hosting the Rockies at PNC Park, and reviews of all the food I can get my hands on over the course of a three-day weekend. 

Mean & Sloppy Joe Greenes
A Stiller Nation Snacks N'at original

1 lb ground beef
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 medium poblano pepper, seeds removed and diced
2 small jalapeños, seeds removed and diced
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

4 hamburger buns

Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Cook poblano, jalapeño and onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beef to pan, stirring frequently until cooked through. Stir in brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper, then ketchup and mustard. Bring to a boil, continuing to stir, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer and stir until excess liquid has cooked off, about 20 minutes.

Serve on warm buns (with ice cold Coca-Cola)!

Serves 4 to 6.

Leave a Reply

"Stiller Nation Snacks N'at" is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the National Football League or the Pittsburgh Steelers. Logo design by Courtney Brown Makes Prints. All Rights Reserved, Stiller Nation Snacks N'at © 2013