Introduction: Sloppy Joes

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This is basically my Ma's recipe for sloppy joes. I've been making them this way for years, but finally sat down to get the measurements right so I could share. It's a really simple recipe - just ketchup and mustard and a few other things! It's an excellent base recipe for sloppy joes in case you'd like to change the flavor a bit.

I'm making a ton of sloppy joes today, so the ingredients list I give here will feed loads of folks. Scale back as needed. :D

(and can I just add that it is super hard to make sloppy joes look nice.)

Step 1: Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups of ketchup
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped (green gives the most authentic grandma taste, but I used red cause it's what I had on hand!)
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup water
You can see I give a little leeway when it comes to amounts. I'd start with the base amounts of ketchup and mustard and add more as needed! If you like your sloppy joes a little more tangy, add more mustard. If you like them sweeter, add more ketchup.

Step 2: Cook the Ground Beef and Veggies Together

I cooked mine over medium heat and stirred it very often. I'd say it took around 15 minutes or so to get the veggies soft and the meat cooked all the way through.

You will need to drain the fat as you go - I'm using 80/20 beef and I got nearly a full mason jar of fat out of it. Draining off the liquid will help with cooking, too!

Step 3: Add Everything Else and Simmer

Add in the mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Stir it well until everything is evenly coated.

Add 1/2 cup of water, and stir again.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer for at least a half hour, covered but with the lid cracked. You will want to stir this quite often - there's not enough liquid to keep it from burning to the bottom of the pan if you leave it, and the sugar only makes it worse!

Step 4: Enjoy!

They're even better the next day, too - and you're sure to have leftovers. :)

If you're feeling like taking your sloppy joes to the next level, try out my puff pastry intestines!