Sloppy Joes… the name brings back memories of cans of Manwich served on fluffy while hamburger buns. It is comfort food at its finest. We have been looking for a good sloppy joe recipe for a while now. Having jumped off the processed food train a while back, Manwich was no longer on the table for us. So in the name of research, we have made multiple batches of the slop, tweaking recipes this way and that. Unfortuntately, none of them have measured up to what we were looking for. Namely, beef that is flavorful, not to dry but not too saucy, and most importantly, more interesting than hamburger flavored ketchup.
This recipe has everything we have been looking for. The sauce is complex, tomato-y with depth from Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and molasses, and rich with onions, garlic, and pepper. Hot sauce adds a little spice, feel free to add more if you like it hot, or take it out entirely if you want a mild Joe. So the next time you get a hankering for a reminder of childhood, ditch the can and try these Sloppy Joes instead.
Recipe followed almost exactly from Gourmet Today
1 1/2 tbls olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 – 14 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbls molasses
1 tbls cider vinegar
1 tbls Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
Heat the olive oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, red bell pepper, and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Add in the ground beef, breaking up the large lumps with a wooden spoon and cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, combine the can of tomatoes (with juice), ketchup, molasses, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce in a blender. Puree until smooth.
Add the tomato mixture to the ground beef mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer, leave it uncovered and let to cook until the thickened, about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
You can serve these on a bun, ala traditional Sloppy Joes. Or, you can divert from tradition and serve the meat over hot buttermilk biscuits. Serves 4.