Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Super Sloppy Joes

It is Wednesday Friendsday and I've got the best Sloppy Joe recipe for you! That said, I had a really hard time taking decent pictures of the Sloppy Joes, so I feel a little bad because I just can't do them justice visually. Just take my word for it.

My neighbors, the Bellos, have brought my family dinner every time I've had a baby. With Stella, they brought Poo Poo chicken, which maybe I will share one day because it is crazy good. When Kells was born they brought over meatloaf, which was great and lasted us for like 3 dinners. When Georgie came, we got Sloppy Joes. Our family loves Sloppy Joes.

In saying that, I feel like I'm admitting a dirty little secret. They like Sloppy Joes?! Didn't we decide Sloppy Joes were gross back in junior high?  My friend, Alicia, and I have discussed this before. It is like bringing a tuna sandwich to lunch in elementary school, and it reeks by lunchtime, so everyone at the table is like, "EWWWW," so you say, "UGH. I can't believe my mom packed me tuna!" But inside you are secretly happy because you made the sandwich. 

Maybe a better comparison is like admitting you don't mind Star Wars Episode 1, including JarJar Binks. Or that you still listen to Spice Girls and Hanson. Or that you support Donald Trump. 

Nope. That's going too far. There's nothing endearing about that. Keep that a secret. 

So anyway, we like Sloppy Joes at our house. Not the Manwich kind. Just the homemade kind. My husband, always the comedian, likes to quote Billy Madison every time I make them, warning everyone at the table that I made them, "extra sloppy!" The kids all scream, "Noooo," and I roll my eyes. It's cute.

These Super Sloppy Joes, or Bello's Sloppy Joes, are perfect. Brother Bello told me this recipe was his mom's. He's my baking and cooking friend. When Sister Bello brought the recipe over she had a sticky note on it with notes as to how she makes it. That made me smile. Sweet, tangy, and moderately addicting, you can just eat the filling with a fork and forgo the bun. That's what Kells likes to do. I've made them with ground beef and ground turkey and both were favorites, but I think ground beef was a little bit more favorite. The original recipe called for V-8 juice, but I never have that, so I've used tomato sauce and had great success. That's how the Bellos brought them to us. They also brought us good quality, bakery-style buns, which I highly recommend. I've even used this sauce to make a quinoa sloppy joe. If you are into quinoa, it is really tasty. But my family was like, "Where's the meat?" So, you know, I haven't done that again.

Super Sloppy Joes

  • 2 lbs hamburger
  • 2 onions (or about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup tomato juice (or 1 8 oz can tomato sauce**)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard, wet or dry
  • 2 tbs vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or a little more)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (I use more like 1-2 tsp)
  • *1 tsp smoked paprika, optional
  • **If using tomato sauce, you may need to add a couple tbs of water to thin sauce.
  1. Dice onion and fry with hamburger in a large skillet. Drain excess grease and return meat to skillet.
  2. Mix all other ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Pour over meat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Serve immediately. 

Bake the bread. Share the slices. 

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