Homemade Sloppy Joes - Fast Family Favorite!
This is a very forgiving meal. If you do not have ketchup you can use tomato sauce with a bit of tomato paste for a thickener. Many people love green pepper in their Sloppy Joes but they are not usually a good kid flavor so I use red, sweet peppers. If I have good home grown tomatoes I toss them in. Canned tomatoes also make a good additional flavor and texture.
Onion powder or dehydrated onion works just fine with this mix too - I might just cook it a little longer to let the flavors work better together.
Fast Food at Home!
Sloppy Joes are a family favorite of ours. I have been making my own recipe for many years. The first time my husband asked if I would make them for him, I was pleased and said, "sure, I have my own recipe." He used the Manwich can which I am not fond of so he put me to the test. He said, "If you can make something that tastes as good as, or better than what is in this can, I will never ask for Manwich again!" I have been making them for almost 19 years and he has never asked for the can mix again.
I was curious about the history of Sloppy Joes and so I did a bit of research. I found out that there are many variations of this food and it is called different things across the world. You may know it as a Toasted Devil Hamburger or Minced Beef. It might be called a Chopped Beef Sandwich or Goulash. If you are in China - ask for a Rou Jia Mo and you will get a Sloppy Joe. In Australia they refer to it as a Savory Minced Roll. Regardless of what it is called - the staple is hamburger meat - ground round - loose meat. Again there are several variations of what cultures refer to as ground beef.
One of the great things about this recipe is that you can just throw whatever you like in or add your own special flavor. My personal recipe is pretty basic and flexible so you can add or subtract ingredients and still get a terrific, quick meal. Fast food at home can be a necessity so I always have some ground beef in the freezer for nights when things don't work out or I don't feel like working that hard for a big dinner.
The ingredients can be easily changed according to your taste - here is what I use to make everyone happy in a hurry and I have a family of 4 and cook for a family of 8 as I often have extra children for dinner as soon as the neighborhood kids find out what I am cooking!
- 2 pounds of ground beef
- About 1 Cup of Ketchup
- A few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon of White Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of Pepper
- One Red Bell Pepper (sweet)
- One small White Onion
Brown the ground beef and drain. Throw the ground beef back into the pan and add remaining ingredients in the pan. Let the ingredients cook together for about 30 minutes. Viola! You can serve the meat on a hot dog bun, hamburger bun or any type of bread. I always have a bag of french fries in the freezer to go with this type of meal. I love it because I can bake the fries in the oven while I cook the meat on the stove and everything comes out about the same time. The children love it and the husband loves it so it is also a complaint free meal!
Hot Tips from a Real Housewife!
The last time I made this dish, I was not wearing reading glasses and I inadvertently used Hot Red Pepper Flakes instead of Sweet Red Pepper Flakes. This did not bode well and was totally inedible. Word to the wise - wear your reading glasses when you cook!
If you have children that object to ugly onions - process them in a food processor and they do not even know they are there!
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