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A Blast from the Past, Only Better! Sloppy Joes

Lauren.Groveman's picture
This Sloppy Joes recipe is one that you would want to make over and over again. Ground meat simmered in an intensely flavored sauce and served with homemade burger buns is an incredible hit everytime. This comfort food is real quick and easy to make.
  Sauce 2 Cup (32 tbs) (Sloppy Joe)
  Ground beef/Ground veal and/or turkey 2 Pound (freshly ground beef chuck/ round /sirloin or a combination)
  Freshly ground black pepper To Taste
  Hamburger buns 8 Large
  Softened butter 1 Tablespoon
  Olive oil 3 Tablespoon
  Yellow onion 1 Cup (16 tbs), minced (packed)
  Green bell pepper 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), minced (seeded)
  Red bell pepper 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs), minced (seeded)
  Celery 2 Tablespoon, minced
  Garlic 6 Clove (30 gm), minced
  Canned tomato puree 2 Cup (32 tbs)
  Tomato paste 2 Tablespoon (rounded tablespoons)
  Ketchup 1 Cup (16 tbs), prepared
  Cider vinegar 2 Tablespoon
  Molasses 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (unsulphured)
  Worcestershire sauce 2 Teaspoon
  Extra virgin olive oil 1 Tablespoon
  Button mushrooms/Chopped 1 Cup (16 tbs), cleaned (portobello mushroom caps only)
  Ripe plum tomatoes/Drained and seeded canned plum tomatoes 1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs), coarsely chopped (peeled)
  Dried oregano 1 Teaspoon, crumbled
  Bouillon 1 Teaspoon (Better Than Bouillon - beef version)

1) To start the sauce: Heat a 2 1/2-quart nonreactive saucepan over medium heat and, when hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, stir in the onion, green and red pepper, celery and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are softened and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree, tomato paste, ketchup, vinegar, molasses and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to very low and simmer with the cover ajar for 1 hour.

2) To sauté the mushrooms: Heat an 8-inch skillet over high heat and, when hot, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3) To finish the sauce: After the sauce has simmered 1 hour, add the sautéed mushrooms, chopped plum tomatoes, oregano, “Better Than Bouillon” seasoning and some freshly ground black pepper. Return to a simmer and cook with the cover ajar for 30 minutes more. If you plan on using the sauce right away, measure out as much as needed and let the remaining sauce cool. Freeze cooled sauce in tightly sealed containers.

Serving Variations
The assembled Sloppy Joe mixture (including meat) is not only great on buns, it's fabulous over hot, lightly buttered pasta; toss in some cooked peas for a hearty and delicious meal. Alternatively, stir some into a bowl of freshly cooked rice. And, don't throw out any leftovers! Heat up the sauce on the next night and spoon it onto baked potatoes; If desired, sprinkle the tops lightly with grated Cheddar cheese and bake or broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Preparation Time: 
30 Minutes
Cook Time: 
110 Minutes
Ready In: 
140 Minutes
My husband Jon is frequently asked "What's your absolutely favorite meal at home?" Most people are quite surprised by his answer, which is always the same: "Lauren's Sloppy Joes." This combination of ground meat simmered in an intensely flavored sauce, served atop toasted, homemade burger buns seems to send my husband back to his childhood. (Of course, the sauce we all had back then was from a can, the buns were always store bought and the eating place was usually the school cafeteria.) Since this sauce doubles perfectly, I recommend that you make a large batch and freeze it in separate small containers. Then, on nights when you're exhausted, simply purchase some fresh ground beef and go to your freezer for the sauce. Within minutes, you'll have a delicious, quick and truly comforting meal. Also, don't hesitate to use ground turkey instead of beef. Or, if meat isn’t your thing, you can simply simmer reconstituted soy vegetable protein in the sauce and serve it the same way you would when using meat. The point: Regardless of your choice of protein, this recipe for Sloppy Joes is a real winner! Special Equipment 10-inch non-reactive, deep-sided skillet At-a-Glance Recipe Guide Cooking muscle required: One Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 1 ½ hours for the sauce Cooking time: 20 minutes for the sloppy Joes Do ahead potential: All of the vegetables required for the sauce can be prepared and refrigerated, separately and well covered, one day ahead of assembling. The sauce can be made in bulk, divided into increments and frozen for at least 6 months.

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Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 1676 Calories from Fat 788

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 89 g137.5%

Saturated Fat 26.4 g131.9%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 168.1 mg56%

Sodium 2794.3 mg116.4%

Total Carbohydrates 171 g56.9%

Dietary Fiber 12.6 g50.4%

Sugars 53.5 g

Protein 60 g119.7%

Vitamin A 48.4% Vitamin C 95.5%

Calcium 47.4% Iron 63.8%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet

A Blast From The Past, Only Better! Sloppy Joes Recipe