How to Make Sloppy Joes
From hamburgers to meatloaf, casseroles to meatballs, ground beef has long been a staple of American home cooking, in large part because it's more affordable than other types and cuts of meat. So it's no wonder that somewhere along the line, someone invented sloppy joes -- deliciously messy sandwiches made with ground beef in a tomato-based sauce that can range from mild to spicy -- as a means of stretching the amount of beef they had on hand to feed a few more.

This recipe outlines the basics for how to make sloppy joes, as well as three variations.

-Hey everyone, Judith here. Well, if you're feeling indulgent and you're really craving something good. This is what you need to make, Sloppy Joe, that's right. So, what you'll need for this is 1-1/2 pounds of lean of ground beef; 1 can or 8 ounces of tomato sauce; 1/3 cup of ketchup; 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar; 1 tablespoon of Worcester sauce; 2 teaspoons of sugar; and 6 hamburger buns. So fantastic great recipe for when your friends come over, you wanna make something quick, really, really good. So, in a large skillet here, we've got it to a medium high heat. We've sprayed with a little bit of cooking spray that's getting nice and hot and what we wanna do is put a ground beef into our skillet right here. So and this goes and we wanna brown our ground beef. It will probably take about 8 minutes or so. Make sure you stir it occasionally, break it up with your spatula, so we're gonna get that nice and brown. So, our ground beef has browned nicely. So, now, it's time to add in the rest of our ingredients, so in goes our tomato sauce and our ketchup right here and the great thing about making Sloppy Joes is that actually you can have any variation you like. If you want kind of an Asian twist, you can put soy sauce in there. If you want an Italian twist, you can put basil in there. I'm just putting the Worcester sauce in there and I like this version because I have a little bit of a sweet tooth and with the sugar, it just sweetens it all up so nicely, taste just wonderful and coming from England, I'd never had Sloppy Joes before and then I made them once, and it was like experimenting and I thought wow and then goes the white wine vinegar as well. So, the ingredients are in there, give it a good stir, and we're gonna put that to a medium low heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Right, well our ground beef mixture is just about done. It's been simmering there for 10 minutes. So, let's take off the heat. Now, I've just transferred these hamburger buns into a nice big platter and all we have to do now simply serve them up. So, I'll just get a little spoonful of this. Into the hamburger bun it goes and if you wanted, you can even sprinkle some nice cheddar cheese on there. Oh, very, very good, look at that, amazing, wow and we're gonna fill in these with the rest of the hamburger buns. So, there you go, in goes, the remainder of our Sloppy Joes, top on that, and your friends are gonna love you when they come over and serve them that. Well, there you go everyone, very quick and simple. I love you Joe for creating this. That's how you make a sloppy Joes.
What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2  pounds lean ground beef
  • 1  8  ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/3  cup ketchup
  • 2   tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1   tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2   teaspoons sugar
  • 6   hamburger buns

Step By Step
Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Crumble in the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.
Stir in the tomato sauce, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To serve, spoon about 1/2 cup of the mixture on each hamburger bun. Serve with pickles and cole slaw, if desired.

  • Asian: Add 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and substitute 2 tablespoons light soy sauce for Worcestershire. Serve over white rice or on hamburger buns.
  • Italian: Add 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning. Stir in marinara sauce instead of ketchup. Substitute prebaked pizza crust for hamburger buns and garnish with shredded mozzarella.
  • Mexican: Add 1 tablespoon chili powder and substitute prepared salsa for the ketchup. Serve in taco shells.
Some people insist that sloppy joes were first concocted by a specific person named Joe, who served loose-meat sandwiches from a diner in Sioux City, Iowa; others hold that the name refers to "average Joe," considering the popularity of ground beef dishes among middle- and working-class folks. And a small but passionate faction claims the sandwich came to the United States from Havana, Cuba, via a bar in Miami called "Sloppy Joe's."
There's little debate, however, regarding the "sloppy" part of the moniker -- the sandwiches are very messy to eat.
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