Sloppy Joe Loaded Baked Potato
by Hannah McClure
- 1 lb ground venison, pork, or beef Note: If using venison, you will need 1 tablespoon bacon grease or lard
- 4 to 6 medium/large 6-8 oz potatoes (russets are a great baking potato)
- 1 small orange bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2/3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup water plus 1 cup water (for instant pot potatoes)
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke OR Worcestershire sauce
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese, for topping
For potato mixture:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 3 tablespoon softened cream cheese
- A dash of milk
Instant pot method
- Pour 1 cup of water and put in metal trivet.
- Rinse potatoes thoroughly and poke with a fork 2-3 times on one side of the potato.
- Place potatoes on trivet only making one layer. Most Instant pots hold 4-6.
- Close lid and put to sealing position. Cook potatoes on manual (high heat) for 14 minutes. Once done cooking, let it naturally release before removing potatoes.
No instant pot? No problem. You can prepare your potatoes as follows:
- Allow rinsed potatoes to air dry. Poke holes with a fork on one side.
- Lightly oil your potatoes with olive oil, bacon grease, or avocado oil.
- Lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 35-55 minutes (time varies based on the size of potatoes) at 400 degrees F.
While potatoes are baking, prepare your sloppy Joe meat mixture as follows:
- In a medium/large skillet on medium/high heat, brown ground meat. Once meat is browned, add in diced bell peppers, and cook about 3 minutes till softened.
- Add in minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds to a minute. Once you can smell the garlic, add in tomato paste, stir well, and lower heat to medium/ low.
- Add in ketchup, water, mustard, chili pepper, Worcestershire sauce or liquid smoke, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Cook for 15 minutes. If mixture is too thick, add a bit of water (1 tablespoon at a time) till you achieve your desired thickness. Note that you will be topping your potatoes, so too runny will be harder to work with.
Once potatoes have finished, remove and allow to cool 15-20 minutes. Remember the potatoes will still be warm to work with.
- Cut potatoes in half, lengthwise, and scoop potatoes out of their skin into a small mixing bowl.
- Mix potatoes with 2 tablespoons softened butter, 3 tablespoons softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons sour cream, and a dash of milk. Mix to your liking. I prefer a chunky mixture but smooth works as well.
- Fill potato skins with potato mixture. Make sure to not overfill.
- Spoon on sloppy Joe mixture (about ¼-1/3 cup per potato depending on the size of potato).
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Top with shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.
HANNAH N. MCCLURE is an old soul homemaker and mother of four from Ohio. Gardening, keeping bees, sewing, raising chickens/seasonal hogs, and baking/cooking from scratch are a few things she enjoys in her homemaking. Always learning and always chasing her littles. Find Hannah on Instagram @muddyoakhennhouse.
Originally published in March/April 2022 issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal and vetted for accuracy.