Sloppy Joes are an American creation that have been around since at least the 1950s. They probably got their start as a variation of the “loose meat" sandwiches popular at the time. According to legend, a cook named Joe at Floyd Angell's café in Sioux City, Iowa, added tomato sauce to his “loose meat" sandwiches and the “sloppy joe" sandwich was born. And the rest, as they say, is history. Growing up in a large family it was one of mom's favorite meals to serve as it stretched to feed a crowd and 10 we were.
Given the current state of times, meals like this made with ground beef and some type of tomato sauce are good choices.
Often favorite recipes are passed down through generations and/or favorite ones from family and friends are kept and revisited from time to time. Perhaps you have some favorite ones you've made multiple times and maybe some of these recipes even have a story to tell.
I'm dedicating this blog to Andy Cecka, a long-time friend who recently passed away.
We often traded recipes back and forth as we both enjoyed trying new recipes for our families and entertaining.
When I first got this recipe both of us had young children and meal stretching was an important consideration. It probably wouldn't surprise you that I have four huge and bulging folders of collected recipes. Recently I came across her original recipe from some 40 years ago. I also noted at the bottom of recipe my son must have put on his stamp :)
Lately, we've been challenged to change the way we cook, rethink recipes that have available ingredients and are more family friendly since we're all home more.
This recipe serves 6 and I have added a few personal touches to the original one, but it will always remain an Andy inspired recipe. It freezes well, just add 1/2 cup ketchup when reheating.
Cook's Notes: I've used this recipe many times for large gatherings. I have doubled sometimes tripled the recipe and then kept it warm in a crockpot. Usually I serve Sloppy Joes with hamburger buns but out of necessity had to use Hawaiian Sweet Roll Sub Buns as I had them on hand. I was surprised how much I liked the taste of the buns with meat mixture.
Cooking Tip: Use a pastry cutter to crumble cooked meat.Ingredients:
- 1 pound of hamburger no less than 80%
- 1 cup each diced celery and sweet onions
- 1-2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 can (undiluted) chicken gumbo soup or chicken rice soup
- 1/3 cup chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar
- 1 can (undiluted) chunky tomatoes (basil, garlic and oregano)
- Optional topping-sliced avocados
- Brown hamburger, celery and onions on medium low heat covered and occasionally using a pastry cutter to crumble meat. Wipe pan clean of grease and moisture.
- Add rest of ingredients and simmer on low heat uncovered for an hour.