Originating in the United States, Sloppy Joes is a yummy sandwich consisting of ground beef, tomato sauce or ketchup, onions and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun. Sloppy joes recipes can be found in American cookbooks in early 20th century, even though they were called with different names, such as: Toasted Deviled Hamburgers, Chopped Meat Sandwiches, Hamburg a la Creole, Beef Mironton, and Minced Beef Spanish Style. It looks like sloppy joes history began in Sioux City, Iowa, as a “loose meat sandwich” in 1930. It took its name from the cook who invented it, named Joe. The term “Sloppy Joe’s” had an earlier definition of any cheap restaurant or lunch counter serving cheap food quickly, since 1940. This sandwich might be cheap and not really “posh”, but it’s a true delight for the eyes (and for the palate)!
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
1 1/2 cups ketchup
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder, or more as needed
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more as needed
Hot sauce, such as Tabasco
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 hamburger buns
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Start by browning the ground beef in a large pot over medium-high heat, draining off the fat. Add in the green peppers and onions, stir and add 1 cup water, ketchup and the garlic. Stir well to combine the flavors, then add the brown sugar, dry mustard, chili powder, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to taste. Stir some more, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat, for about 20 minutes.
To serve, brown the buns on a griddle or in a skillet. Spoon a good amount of the meat mixture onto the bottom bun, and then top with the other half. Serve your sloppy joes with chips, salad or just enjoy it by itself.