Sloppy joes are definitely an iconic American food, but the actual origins are up for debate. It seems everyone wants to lay claim to the invention of these American favorites. A sloppy joe is a “burger” made with ground beef, onions and tomato sauce. It’s kind of like spaghetti bolognase on a bun. They go by different names, such as Toasted Deviled Hamburgers, Chopped Meat Sandwiches, Spanish Hamburgers, Hamburg a la Creole, Beef Mironton, and Minced Beef Spanish Style, but they have been most famously called “Sloppy Joes” since the 1940’s. The term sloppy joe’s had an earlier definition too, long before they became an American tradition. It was a slang for any cheap restaurant or lunch counter serving cheap food quickly.
It was a cooking day for Noah, and with it being a cold, snowy day, I thought it would also be a perfect day for sloppy joes. They were a big hit with Noah too. He made sloppy joes and some grilled new potatoes.
For the potatoes, we just simply coated them with salt, pepper and olive oil, then grilled them on Noah’s little George Forman grill. It was his first experience with purple potatoes too. I did that on purpose, though there was only one purple potato in the bag. 🙂
2 TBSP water, divided
1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking soda, divided
1-1 1/2 lbs ground beef
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 TBSP garlic
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup ketchup
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp cornstarch
vegetable or olive oil for cooking
Combine 1 TBSP of water and 1/2 tsp of baking soda and mix well. Then add to the ground beef and mix it all in together.
Get a large skillet hot and add the oil, then add the onions, brown sugar, paprika and garlic, plus the remaining portion of the baking soda and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Combine the ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar, and set aside.
Add the ground beef, combine well and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the beef is cooked. Once the beef is thoroughly cooked, add the ketchup mixture and combine well.
Mix the cornstarch with 1 TBSP water and add to the meat mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Drain off the excess grease then spoon the mixture over warmed hamburger buns and enjoy. Noah gobbled up two in seemingly seconds and loved every bite. 🙂
Things don’t have to be complicated in order to taste good. Sometimes the simple things are the best things.
Stay warm, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.