When my husband Jack told me that he wanted to make Sloppy Joes to feature here on A Family Feast – it made me smile! Jack and I both remember having Sloppy Joes as kids growing up – and even today, it’s still a delicious kid-friendly meal!
A Sloppy Joe sandwich is a classic American meal. Ours is a super flavorful mixture of ground beef, onions, carrots and celery combined with a tomato-based sauce that is flavored with Colman’s dry mustard, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce for some added zip to the sauce. It’s served over a hearty bulkie roll, and some people like to eat their Sloppy Joes with a fork and knife. But we think half the fun of a Sloppy Joe is eating it with your hands like every other sandwich, and letting things get – sloppy!
Our version of Sloppy Joes also has bell pepper added to the mix which is a nod to a variation of the sandwich called the “Dynamite” in the Woonsocket area of Rhode Island. The origins of the Dynamite sandwich are not well documented, but some locals attribute it back to Canada based on the heavy concentration of residents in Woonsocket with a French Canadian heritage.
Sloppy Joes are great served with coleslaw and chips – on a summer camping trip or watching a football game in the fall. Either way, this is a delicious and hearty meal for kids of all ages year-round!
- 2 pounds ground beef (half ground chuck and half ground sirloin if possible)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- ¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper
- ½ cup finely shredded carrot
- ¼ cup finely minced celery
- 2 garlic cloves passed through garlic press
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon Colman’s dry mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 14-ounce can pureed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Bulkie rolls for serving
- In a 14-inch skillet or cast iron pan, sauté ground beef over medium heat until cooked. Remove from heat and pour into a strainer catching liquid. Let the fat rise to the top of the liquid, reserve just one tablespoon of the fat and all of the liquid. The liquid that the beef gives off will be used later along with the one tablespoon of fat.
- In the same pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, onions, peppers, carrot and celery and sauté four minutes. Add garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute.
- Add all other ingredients including cooked beef, reserved liquid and fat. Stir to combine.
- Cook over medium heat for ten minutes to incorporate flavors, stirring often. Remove from heat and serve on bulkie rolls or your favorite burger bun.
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