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Sloppy Joes are a delicious sandwich made with ground beef in a sweet and spicy tomato sauce. Don’t forget the napkins!
When my husband Jack told me that he wanted to make a Sloppy Joes recipe 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!
What are Sloppy Joes?
A Sloppy Joe is a classic American sandwich made with ground beef (or sometimes ground pork) in a tomato sauce that has been seasoned with Worcestershire sauce and other seasonings.
Our recipe is a super-flavorful mixture of ground beef, onions, shredded 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 all cooks up together in a skillet until hot and bubbly and the flavors all meld together.
Sloppy Joes are served over a hearty kaiser roll – or on a ‘bulkie’ roll as they are called here in New England.
Some people like to eat their Sloppy Joes with a fork and knife. But we we think half the fun of a Sloppy Joe is eating it with your hands like any other sandwich, and letting things get – sloppy! (You’ll need plenty of napkins!)
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 a heavy concentration of residents in Woonsocket with a French Canadian heritage.
What do I serve with Sloppy Joes?
Sloppy Joes are great served with chips, and coleslaw on the side, and make a great family-friendly meal anytime of the year. Sloppy Joes are a great option when cooking over the fire on a summer camping trip, or for a game day party menu. Either way, Sloppy Joes are a delicious and hearty meal for kids of all ages!
This Sloppy Joes recipe originally appeared on A Family Feast in July 2013. We’ve updated the photos and recipe a bit.
You may like these other sandwich recipes:
- Sloppy Tom Sandwich
- Smoky Joe Sandwich
- Steak Bomb Sandwich
- Grilled Chicken Club with Rosemary Aioli
- Meatball Subs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
1 cup diced onion
¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper
½ cup finely shredded carrot (small holes of grater)
¼ cup finely minced celery
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Colman’s dry mustard powder
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 14.5-ounce can pureed tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bulkie rolls for serving
In a 14-inch skillet or saute pan over medium heat add one tablespoon of the oil and once hot cook ground beef until browned. Remove from heat and pour into a strainer over a bowl. Set browned beef aside. Let the fat rise to the top of the liquid left in the bowl, then skim off all but one tablespoon of the fat on top of the liquid. (Save the liquid, discard the fat you skimmed off.) Add the browned beef into the bowl with the liquid and set aside.
In the same pan over medium heat, add the remaining two tablespoons of the olive oil and once hot, add the onions, peppers, carrot and celery and sauté four minutes. Add garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add tomato paste and cook for another two minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar and loosen up any brown bits from the bottom.
Add all other ingredients including cooked beef and the reserved liquid. 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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If your Sloppy Joes mixture dries out, simply reheat with a little water to loosen it up.