Monday, June 21, 2010

Sloppy Joe Sandwich

There are certain foods that send me running to the hills just at the thought: unfortunately, the Sloppy Joe is one of them.

Now please don't flame me: this is a personal preference and, as with all personal preferences, yours or mine or Adam's, this does not have anything to do with anything. Some people can't seem to get this simple point.

In the past couple of weeks, we've started getting some hateful and angry comments on this blog -- at what, I have no idea. Some of them were incoherent. Does that mean this little blog of ours is finally growing up? ;)

Anyhoo, I have no love for ground meat that has been cooked with or mixed with ketchup. Don't ask me why or how that is: it is what it is.

CSC's family makes their egg torta with a ground pork filling mixed with ketchup: the thought alone sends shivers down my spine. Our version is such a nice golden one. ;)

I guess all of this just goes to show that I'm the wrong person to be writing the introduction to this Sloppy Joe Sandwich post.

Why did we even make Sloppy Joes? Well, I thought maybe I'd change my mind about Sloppy Joes. . . and our other family members like this whole meat-with-ketchup concept.

For this American thing, it's only fitting we turn to America's Test Kitchen. Specifically, the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.

Their version called for just onions and ground beef. In hindsight, I should've used a recipe that called for bell peppers as well, as I saw in one episode of Throwdown in Bobby Flay. (The challenger was Schnipper's Quality Kitchen.)

We already disclosed this dirty little Throwdown secret before, so no need for disparaging remarks this time. ;)

It's a good show to turn on when one is feeling sleepy; that way, one doesn't feel like she is missing out if she does fall asleep in the middle of an episode. Teehee.

To make the filling, I simply cooked some onions and garlic, then added chili powder, ground beef and brown sugar. When the beef was more or less cooked through, I added tomato purée, ketchup and a touch of Tabasco. (I didn't taste any heat, though.) Of course, I seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.

For the record, I couldn't bring myself to eat one. I did take a spoonful to taste the meat filling. I can taste the appeal but it's really not for me. At this point, it's probably not the flavours that I don't like, because as I said, I can taste the appeal. I just have an adverse gut reaction to it for some reason.

JS has some sort of mental hurdle she has to overcome herself.

For me, the sloppy joe sandwich was all right. Maybe it was still too ketchup-y. In my head, I had always assumed that the sloppy joe filling would be tomato sauce-based (as opposed to ketchup-based).

So, perhaps that's what I would do next time: more tomato sauce, less ketchup, add bell peppers.

That is, if there is a next time, with JS' aversion and all. But, the 3 kids(Bosses #1-3) loved it! And of course, CSC too, with her ketchup-love and all.

You gotta SQUISH the bun!

By the way, I liked the loosemeat sandwich better. I made the two sandwiches on the same day!

Anyways, I'm working myself up to this Sloppy Joe thing. Wish me luck.

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Sloppy Joes
from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
Serves 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium olive, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 cup tomato purée
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
4 hamburger buns

1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the beef, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon sat and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces, until the meat is no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

2. Stir in the tomato purée, ketchup, and water. Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with Tabasco and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon 1/2 cup of the meat mixture into each hamburger bun.


  1. i make sloppy joes once every two weeks. I don't use catsup but do use a bit of vinegar and worcheshire sauce. oh, yeah and i do it vegetarian with lentils, kidney beans and cannelini beans. But, go away from the catsup. And, TS--it will win you over when done all homemade.

  2. I was never a huge fan of sloppy joe sammies because even as a child I disagreed with the concept of a 'sandwich' which required utensils. Oh, also, I was a notorious filling-dripper and would make a mess everywhere. The flavor of the sandwich though, well, that I can get into. Blame it on my grandmother who used to mix (quite a bit of) ketchup in with the meat when making burgers and then would kind of....braise them....with a bit more ketchup in the pan.

  3. Sloppy Joes are something I never expected to see on here!

  4. Maybe it's because I'm not American, but I've always been fascinated by Sloppy Joes. Which is strange, because it's def not the type of food I would normally eat.

  5. I never really was a fan of sloppy joes but I just had to make a quick easy recipe a couple months ago to see what I liked about them as a kid. Still can't figure out but probably wasn't too great since I used a honey bbq sauce as my base. But I also tried it was a canned sloppy joe sauce, really didn't like it then.

  6. maybelle's mom:
    Yes... "next time", it will be truly tomato sauce-based.

    Choosy Beggar Tina:
    I was still with you when you mentioned mixing ketchup into the meat for burgers... but then, the *braising*!!! LOL.

    Hahaha... as Xena used to say, "I have many skills." ;D

    Hey, I think I had the same fascination too! I have never had them, but I always thought that I wanted to eat them! If you do ever make these, I'd use less-to-zero ketchup.

    I guess you and joe just don't get along now. =)

  7. hehehe...that could be taken both literately and figuratively...since there is a joe out there that i am teetering back and forth about...heheheh..all well though...


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