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.
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 :)
- 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.