Meme’s Sloppy Joes.

30 October 2013

My grandma Meme has a few dishes that over the last 89 years she has perfected.  No one can do them like she does and she doesn’t have a recipe for any of them.  I have called her often and to ask for the recipe for her Beef Stew and her Lasagna.  I’ve watched her do the Thanksgiving stuffing for the last four years and I still manage to screw it up.  I can usually keep up with her pinches of this's and handful of that’s but it makes my cousin’s wife and my sister crazy because they are recipe followers. 

Best Sloppy Joes Ever 012

I always forget about the Sloppy Joes because she still makes them often enough herself that I rarely need to.  It’s so easy to throw them in a crockpot to cook half a day so people can eat when they’re around… a must in a family with six children, six grand children, and six great-grand children, and that isn’t counting spouses.  I’ve made them for parties, they’re great for college football Saturdays, and it’s a great main dish recipe for those pot-luck functions.  They are fantastic for leftovers the next day and you can also freeze them if you are so inclined, go ahead and make a double batch. 

Dave asked me to make them this weekend so I did, and I took dinner over to Meme too.  A little payback for all of those years of her making them for us.  A couple months ago, I also painstakingly tasted and tested the right amount of ingredients to have a written recipe for my sister and Amanda so they can make them too.  Now, we enjoy them without any onions or peppers in them, but if you’re so inclined, you could throw in 1/4 - 1/2 cup or so of each, just sauté them after you sauté the ground beef.  Our family will tell you that they’re perfect as they are, but to each their own.

Meme’s Sloppy Joes Recipe

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 TB brown sugar
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 TB balsamic vinegar
  • Seasoning: garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt

First, you will sauté the ground beef, seasoning with garlic powder, onion powder, and seasoned salt.  {You could also just use black pepper and salt if that is what you have on hand.}  Break it apart as it’s cooking with the side of the spatula so it makes smaller crumbles.  I usually use a lower fat beef so I don’t have to drain it, but if you use a higher fat content, drain off any excess fat.  If you are making these in the crock pot, turn it on low, you can put the ground beef in after it is thoroughly cooked.  You can also just leave it in the sauté pan if you don’t want to mess with the crock pot.  If you do that, turn the burner to low.

While the ground beef is cooking, throw a can of tomato sauce, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon each of Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar, and a quarter cup of ketchup into a sauce pan and heat, stirring until everything is blended together and the sugar has melted completely into the sauce.  Allow to simmer for about five minutes and then pour it over the cooked ground beef. 

Let it simmer on the stove or in the crockpot for 10 – 20 minutes and serve.  You can also leave them for hours warming on low in the crockpot, you really can’t mess these up and I think they taste fantastic with a little more time cooking.  Coleslaw and potato chips make super easy side dishes!


Kristina Grum said...

Yum! I love sloppy joe's but haven't had one in forever. Think they would work with ground turkey? I have some of that in my fridge right now.

Anonymous said...

We love Meme's sloppy joes. You know when you go home to visit and you always look forward to that one favorite dish? Well Meme's sloppy joes are it for me! Where did that name come from...I've always wondered?
Thanks for sharing. Now everyone can enjoy them!
Aunt Linda

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