Yesterday as I was going down (or was it up?) the grocery aisle, I asked my daughter “What should I make for dinner?” Without skipping a beat, she said “sloppy joes”. Where she came up with that idea is beyond me. I haven’t made them in ages, but it’s a great idea.
Sloppy Joes are a classic, American go-to sandwich. As I was making them, I wondered about why are they called sloppy joes? I get the sloppy. But what about Joe? So a quick wikipedia later… The Original Sloppy Joe Sandwich was invented by a cook named Joe at a cafe in Sioux City, Iowa, as a variation of the popular “loose meat” sandwich (which does not contain tomato sauce). Way to go Joe!
Sloppy joes are perfect for a family on the go or for a crowd at a football game. It’s so easy to make and easy to reheat. My friend Mary Ellen gave me this recipe and it’s a family favorite.
Mary Ellen’s Sloppy Joes – Serves 6
- 1 lb. ground beef (For a healthier option, you can use ground turkey, but add 1 tbsp of olive oil when browning) (Oh yeah, ground turkey doesn’t brown. It turns kinda beige.)
- 1 celery stalk – chopped
- 1 small onion – chopped
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 3 tbsp brown sugar (I like the dark because of the molasses, but you can use light)
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Hamburger buns
- In a medium size skillet, brown the ground beef and move to a separate bowl.
- Drain the fat except for 1 tbsp. For a little healthier version, you can drain all the fat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil instead to the skillet.
- Sauté the onions and celery until tender for about 5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef back to the skillet and stir on medium heat.
- Add the rest of the ingredients: ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper.
- Stir and simmer on low for 10 minutes. You may add a little more water if it seems too thick.
- Adjust salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
- Scoop about 1/3 cup of meat onto each hamburger bun and enjoy.
Sloppy Joes are great for a crowd. Make the recipe as above (double, triple…) and place in a crock pot with a little more of water. Set the crock pot to low to keep warm under ready to serve.