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Recipe for midwestern BBQs (also known as taverns and sloppy joes)

Updated on September 16, 2012
5 stars from 1 rating of Barbeques (Taverns)

About these BBQs

This Recipe was handed down from my great grandmother to my grandmother to my father to me. This is the best recipe of this type that I have ever had.

In our area of NW Iowa we call these delicious sandwiches Barbeques or taverns. In other parts of the country they are Sloppy Joes or Made-Rights.

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: Serves a family of 6 with leftovers


  • 1 large onion
  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 2 c. Ketchup
  • 1/4 c. Horseradish Mustard, (or Spicy Brown mustard)
  • 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar
  1. Finely chop the onion. (I use the food processor because my family doesn't like onion chunks)
  2. Take the chopped up onion and put it in a deep skillet. Add raw hamburger. Brown hamburger and onion until there is no pink left in the ground beef. Drain ground beef only if really fatty. A little fat helps flavor.
  3. Add 2 cups ketchup, 1/4 cup mustard, 1/2 cup water to browned beef and onion. Mix together.
  4. Simmer on medium/low (without lid) for 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and simmer 10 more minutes.
  5. Serve on buns. You can also serve on top of hot dogs on buns and have a Coney Dog.


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