Here’s a recipe that went down very well in our household! I’ve always viewed sloppy joes as kids’ food, food for picky children unable to force down anything green. It’s also one of those recipes from America that never really made the trip across the Atlantic and so I’ve only learned about it through television sitcoms and online. Still, it was something I’d never made before and it would add to my minced meat recipe repertoire! I cooked them one weekend late last year and served it up with tater tots and sauteed Brussels sprouts on the side. Perfect sloppy food for a sloppy weather Sunday and yes, we even ate in front of the telly. The meat was extremely tasty (how can it not be with all the ingredients in the sauce) and not as junky as I imagined it would be. Yes, it was a bit messy to eat but isn’t that the point?

Sloppy Joes for Dinner

Once again, this is a recipe that can be tinkered easily: I used mostly what I had around – a diced green pepper would also be good in here and feel free to season it to your liking. Like it more ketchupy? Go ahead! Maybe even some barbecue sauce would be good!

Sloppy Joes
inspired by a recipe from Dinner with Julie
serves 4

454g ground beefsteak (1 lb)
80 mL (1/3 cup) ketchup
250 mL (1 cup) tomato passata
1 tbsp sugar (I increased this to 2 tbsps as my ketchup was low sugar, low sodium)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)
2 tbsps chili sauce (optional, or a few dashes of Tabasco)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 buns (hamburger buns or those roughly that size)

Heat about 2 tbsps of oil in a large saute pan and sweat the onion, carrot and celery. A chopped green pepper would also be good here but I didn’t have one. You want the vegetables soft and this should take about 10 minutes. Add the ground beef and brown the meat, breaking it up in the process, about 5 minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the buns) and stir through. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly. You’ll probably want to taste it right about now to adjust the seasonings and if it’s a bit too thick, add some water. While it’s simmering, you can also slice in half and toast the buns. Sandwich the sloppy meat in the buns and serve immediately.

I served these with tater tots on the side. And, no, go find your own!