I was never a big fan of Sloppy Joes. No, scratch that. I was never a big fan of Manwich. That stuff is just nasty. Mix a cup of ground beef and a cup of ketchup together, and you’ve pretty much stolen the recipe. The only time I ever really enjoyed eating Sloppy Joes was when someone made them from scratch. Let’s be honest. Everything tastes better made from scratch (except, of course, for Cadbury Eggs and Pop-Tarts, and unless you can actually get your hands on the original recipe to recreate them from scratch in your own kitchen, why bother?).
So, a few years ago, I set out to find a great Sloppy Joe recipe to try. I love to cook, and I’m down to try just about any recipe once. I found a recipe for Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes in Woman’s World magazine that quickly became my favorite. I decided to make a batch tonight for dinner, and share the recipe here on my blog for everyone to enjoy.
Just one disclaimer before we begin…I’ve always been more of an “eyeballer” when it comes to cooking. While I usually have a recipe sitting out on the counter, I tend to see it as more of a guideline. I’ll add what I think needs to be added, and sometimes leave other things out completely. For all of you by-the-book cooks out there, I will include the original recipe for you to follow, and I’ll let you know as I deviate.
CHEESEBURGER SLOPPY JOES
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cove garlic, chopped
1 can (18.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 buns or rolls
2 slices cheese
I start the meat browning in a large skillet while I chop the onions and green pepper. I roughly doubled the recipe this time, using 2 lbs of ground beef, 2 onions, and 1 large green pepper. I am a sucker for garlic, so I ended up using about 5 cloves.
After giving the onions and pepper a rough chop, I added them to the meat. Then, I added the crushed garlic and gave it all a stir. Cook over medium heat until the meat is browned and cooked through.
Once the meat is nicely browned, I added a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes. I also added a small can of tomato paste. I hate Sloppy Joes that taste overly-ketchupy, so I like to use some tomato paste, and then cut the amount of ketchup in half. I also find that the tomato paste helps thicken the mixture a bit. Don’t worry–your Sloppy Joes will still be plenty sloppy.
Next, I add the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup (only about 1 Tbsp), and chili powder. Tonight, I substituted paprika for chili powder, and ended up really loving the flavor. If you want Sloppy Joes with a little kick, add a dash of cayenne.
Give the mixture a good stir and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. Then, it’s time for a taste test.
My personal Taste Tester was pleased, so I added a bit of salt and pepper to finish it off, and left it to simmer.
I opened the hamburger buns in a glass baking dish (or you can use a cookie sheet) and put them under the broiler. Lightly toasting the buns helps prevent them from getting so soggy.
Once they are toasted, remove the tray from the oven, and remove the bun tops from the tray. Spoon some of the Sloppy Joe mix onto each bottom bun, then place a slice of cheese on top. Pop the tray back under the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese. Remove the tray from the oven. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the Sloppy Joes to your plates, replace the bun tops, and enjoy!
For today’s 365 Project entry, I give you Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes. Bon appetit!