Sloppy Joe’s

I remember going ga-ga over Sloppy Joe’s when I was a kid. I was nuts for the sweet ground beef and soaking hamburger buns—especially lucky too, because I didn’t need to rely on the lunch-lady for my fix; my mom made them all the time.

But, alas, like so many old favorites we try as adults, these sloppy joes didn’t stand up to my memories of them. I could’ve guessed looking at the recipe—a whole cup of ketchup for 1 lb of meat?—but I was feeling so nostalgic for lil’ kid summers of swingsets and singing, that I whipped it up anyway. And, after I overcame my disappointment at not thinking these were the “Best. Food. I. Have. Ever. Tasted.” I realized they are actually quite appetizing. A bit too sweet, though it tastes delectable with a toasted and buttered bun and a slab of bacon (but then again, what wouldn’t?)

Sloppy Joe’s

adapted from Saveur Magazine Sept ’07 *

Active Time: 10 min Cooking Time: 25 min

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded & diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • ¼ ground cloves
  1. Heat butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add ground beef and sauté until mostly browned.
  2. Add ketchup, mustard, vinegar, and cloves. Stir and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until sauce is rich and brown. Serve on toasted, buttered buns with bacon if you prefer (I insist!)

*adapted by omitting a Tbsp of sugar.