Beef & Lamb

Everyone Has His Own

Do you ever wonder where famous foods originate?  Buffalo, New York can claim hot wings, Chicago has deep dish pizza, Miami has the Cuban sandwich.  Who can claim the Sloppy Joe?  There are some who give thanks to Sloppy Joe’s in Havana, Cuba for first serving the dish.   Others say it originated in a bar in Key West, Florida with the same exact name.  Apparently Mr. Ernest Hemingway himself used to be a regular.  Owners of Ye Olde Tavern Inn in Sioux City, Iowa attributed the sandwich to an employee named Joe who devised a “loose meat” recipe in the kitchen one day.  They named the sandwich after him.  What an honor.  You may even hear folks say the Sloppy Joe sandwich was a general American depression-era invention that came about as a means of stretching cheap eats and making them taste good.  It is almost impossible to pinpoint who actually created the Sloppy Joe, but the recipe has stayed the same over many years.  For the most part.  Here’s a new way to eat an timeless treat.

It’s not just for elementary school kids.  Oh no, the Sloppy Joe is for anyone who wants to get down and dirty with their food.  If you are one who shuns the fork and knife in exchange for your fingers, you are a fan of the Sloppy Joe. If you enjoy the complementary mix of sweet, savory and spicy, then you are a fan of the Sloppy Joe. If you have a passion for taking a very simple recipe and jazzing it up to suit your own tastes, you will definitely be a fan of the Sloppy Joe. This recipe differs from the traditional version due with the addition of plump cherry tomatoes, sweet cinnamon and bright hints of orange. The worcestershire and vinegar add a level of tang that is offset with a little molasses and lightly caramelized onions. It’s not your grandma’s Sloppy Joe, but it could certainly be yours.

Sweet Sloppy Joes – Serves 4
1 small red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 pound ground beef
1 jalapeno, diced
Zest of 1 blood orange
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon worcestershire
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Grapeseed oil
1 loaf sourdough bread, quartered then halved

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the molasses, mustard, vinegar, worcestershire, ketchup and spices. Set aside.

2. Drizzle a bit of grapeseed oil in a pan. Once hot, add the onions, garlic and brown sugar. Cook the onions until they begin to caramelize slightly, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add the ground beef, jalapeno, zest and tomatoes. Cook until most of the meat is browned, approximately another 3-4 minutes.

3. Pour in the sauce and mix well. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 25-30 minutes. Serve on the sourdough bread.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.

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22 thoughts on “Everyone Has His Own

  1. This is great! I love the zest in there, I bet that really adds some great flavor. Sloppy joes are a favorite of mine, next time I make them I’m trying that.

  2. I LOVE sloppy joes but haven’t had one in years! Today is totally the day of delicious sandwiches and now I’m craving this for lunch/dinner/NOW!

  3. I love sloppy joes. I have to admit I haven’t made them from scratch yet. I’m pretty good at opening a can of Manwich. I do want to try to make them though, and this recipe is definitely inspiring me.

  4. Would never think to put orange zest in a sloppy joe – love it!

    We grew up eating sloppy joe’s — my mom still makes them for my brother when he comes home to visit. Just one of those comforting foods that none of us seem to out grow.

  5. These sloppy joes sound intense(ly good)! Way more flavor than my mom’s beef and tomato sauce version. I will definitely need to try these!

  6. I was probably the only kid in my school who didn’t like sloppy joes. Even as a kid I didn’t like the taste of pre-packaged, commercially-made sauces I guess. It took time and experience to realize that, “Hey. Sloppy Joe’s don’t have to taste like Hunt’s Manwich.”
    I love this recipe because it has a bit of a barbecue edge to it with some very unexpected ingredients. It just might have converted my six-year-old sef!

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