Sloppy Joes

We all have food guilty pleasures, some more embarrassing than others. One of my big ones is Sloppy Joes. Note: this is not one of my food guilty pleasures that I am embarrassed about. I will tell anyone who asks how much I love these sandwiches. Call them white trash, call them gross but I love them. I hadn’t eaten one in probably close to 15 years and I recently finished watching Roseanne and their loose meat sandwich inspired me to make Sloppy Joes. This past Friday was the perfect opportunity – it was a cold, rainy August day and I finished work at noon.

The receipe I used is from, again, Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food cookbook. Am I convincing you to buy it yet?

Again, because it is literally impossible for someone who is not a professional to make Sloppy Joes look appetizing, I stole the picture from the cookbook.

The meat has an amazing blend of spices and seasonings – chili powder, Dijon, Worcestershire and brown sugar – which gives it a warm, cozy taste. This would be a great base for a chili (and I hate chili). The vegetables become tender but sustain a slight crunch which are satisfying in every bite and give you the feeling that you can justify this meal as healthy since there are vegetables. The meat is slightly fatty but doesn’t feel heavy in your stomach. The whole mixture comes together and stays together really well, making these not-so-sloppy Sloppy Joes.

Recipe is below the cut. Happy munching!

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 ketchup-style chili sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon  Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon firm packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 sesame seed sandwich buns

1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring and breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water, the tomato sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes to blend the flavours.

2. Toast the buns. Place the bottom halves of the buns, cut side up, on warmed individual plates and top with the beef mixture, dividing it equally. Cover with the bun tops and serve right away.


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