Sloppy Joes

It may be gross, but I’m still working through those (now frozen) burgers from fourth of july. While contemplating how else I could transform them, I thought, really, what is more American, than a sloppy joe? Now I realize that here in the States there are actually 2 types of sloppy joe. But my parents originally hail from the midwest, so I’m going to give a nod to the original (as told to me by Wikipedia, the all-knowing internet source).

I actually have not had one of these (or thought about them) since I was a kid. I remember my mom making them once or twice, but it not being a staple in our diet growing up. Needless to say, everyone is pretty familiar with the ground beef, slight red hue of the sloppy joe, thrown on a hamburger bun and I thought to myself, I could really transform this into something that could be pretty good (I think).

So while, this is a bit messy to look at, and the pictures were…not so beautiful, it tasted like what I remember from childhood, but not as sweet, with a couple of vegetables thrown in for good measure (I was never a purist).

This is what you’ll need;

1 lb ground beef or 4-6 hamburgers

2 yellow onions, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 sweet peppers or one bell pepper, not green, diced

1 cup of tomato sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 tea hot sauce

2 tea worchestershire sauce

hamburger buns to serve

Turn your burner on high and brown your meat. Drain 1/2 the fat (I know, it’s a little gross that you aren’t draining all of it…but…it helps to make it ‘stick’ to the bun…right…try not to think about it too hard)

Next add your onions and cook down until translucent (about 5-8 minutes), now add peppers and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes until just soft.

hamburger reduction

Add your tomato sauce, paste, ketchup, hot sauce and w. sauce. Mix well and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until sauce thickens.

Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes (to allow for further thickening).

Serve on a hamburger bun. That’s it! I served with homemade pickles on top to get a slightly sour crunch that was delightful. You’ll notice that no salt was added. Fear not. There is PLENTY of salt (and sugar) in ketchup, and I didn’t want this to be an overly sweet or salty version of a sloppy joe, but a nice, grown up version. Bonus, Z loved it. I think she actually would have passed on the original, so I consider this an epic win.

sloppy joe

Not only is this an exceptionally kid-friendly dish (what kid doesn’t like ground beef and a mysterious red sauce? BUT you’ve added some beautiful sweet peppers in there to round off the veggie consumption.

Anyway, the pictures don’t do justice to the taste, try it next time you have a million leftover burgers…you won’t be sorry!

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