Hula Joes

I saw this recipe a while back on Taste and Tell. She got the recipe from Rachel Ray via her TV show. I’ve never made anything with straight ground pork. I’ve always mixed it in with another meat. So I was interested in how this would turn out. I also like the idea of a sloppy joe with a sweet Hawaiian twist. I must tell you that we were all pleasantly please at the wonderful flavor of this sandwich. The ground pork turned out delicious. All the flavors worked well together too. I loved the crunch and flavor that the crisp bacon added. I mean how can you not like anything with bacon in it? I also put the sandwich filling on big Sara Buns. You can absolutely get 6 sandwiches out of this recipe and I thought I loaded them pretty good. If you used smaller rolls or buns you could get at least 8 sandwiches. I will definitely be making these again.

Hula Joes

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound smoked ham or bacon, diced
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
1 sweet onion, such as Maui or Vidalia, finely chopped (I used Vidalia)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup pineapple, chopped* (the recipe calls for fresh but I used canned tidbits cut in half)
salt and ground black pepper
4 Kaiser rolls
1 cup shredded yellow cheddar cheese

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with one turn of the pan of olive oil, about 1 tablespoon. Cook bacon in the pan until crispy, about 3-4 minutes, and remove it to a small bowl.

Return the pan with the bacon fat back over the heat, add the ground pork and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook until soft, about 5-6 minutes.

While the pork and onions are cooking, in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire and tomato sauce. Pour into the skillet with the pork and onion, cook about a minute, then stir in pineapple. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the filling is cooking, split open the rolls and toast them under the broiler. (I added to the cheese at this point to get it nice and melty!)

To serve, place a bun bottom on a plate with a scoop of Hula Joe mixture and a sprinkling of cheese. Top with the bun cap.

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