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sloppy joes anyone?

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My husband has been feeling nostalgic and wants to serve our son a sloppy joe. His mom always made them from scratch and he has fond menories of eating them as a child. Sloppy joes and veal parmesan were his first choice requests for birthday dinners.

Now, this was not something that was served in my home as kid. I didn't eat one until boarding school and never ate one again. I assume it came from can it was that bad. A quick poll around the office was "just use manwich". I would prefer not to go the can route because if its like canned soups it will have too much sodium and other crap.

So does anyone have a good recipe, preferably quick one too being that I am a WOHM?? TIA!!

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  1. I was always tempted to ask this same question. I used to make Sloppy Joes alot when I was first married as it was one of my family's favorites, but not so much to my husband's liking (although he did eat it). Also English Muffin pizzas, which I keep saying I have to do again. Sloppy Joes were chop meat, tomato soup, lots of hot sauce, I think onions and celery...there has to be more. Also similar was Hunters Stew, we used to make it at Girl Scout Camp in our "mess kits", it was chop meat, a can of Campbells Veg Veg soup, can of Campbells Tomato Soup and who knows what else. I'm waiting for someone with a better memory than mine to come up with the complete recipe(s). If not, I will research further. (ie, ask Mom if she remembers)

    2 Replies
    1. re: coll

      Here's my recipe that usually gets rave reviews.

      2 pounds of ground beef
      1 can Campbell's Cream of Onion Soup
      1 small can of tomato sauce
      Worcestershire Sauce to taste
      Sprinkle of meat seasoning.

      Brown and scatter beef, sprinkle worchestershire sauce on meat, add meat seasoning to taste, stir, increase heat and add onion soup and tomato sauce. If you like, add sliced bell pepper or additional spices.

      The secret is to cook it uncovered over low heat for about 25 minutes after all ingredients are combined. Keep the heat to where the sloppy joes have just a small bubble of a boil, stir frequently.

      If you're making a smaller portion, such as one pound, use half the amount of onion soup and tomato paste. Combine unused portion (pour tomato sauce into the soup can), cover and freeze and you'll have it for the next pound of sloppies you want to make.

      1. re: Marco

        That's it, thanks! I used to use a can of Campbells Tomato Soup, a small can of tomato sauce, worcestshire and tabasco. I didn't realize there were so many variations of this recipe!

    2. i like the recipe rachel ray has on foodtv.com i have used balsamic vinegear instead of red wine because that's what i had and just cut back on the brown sugar. i like it ok, sloppy joes aren't my favorite. but my husband loves them. i tried to link it, but their site keeps crashing.

      1. shortcut sloppy joes from campbell's classic recipe's:

        1lb ground beef
        1 can (11 1/8oz) campbell's condensed italian tomato soup
        1/4 cup water
        2tsp worcestershire sauce
        1/8tsp pepper
        6 rolls, split and toasted

        in medium skillet over med-hi heat cook beef until browned, stirring to separate meat. pour off fat. add soup, water, worcestershire, and pepper. reduce heat to low and heat through. divide meat mixture among rolls.

        i haven't made this recipe myself, but it seems pretty straightforward and simple and hopefully the sloppy joes will come out ok.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lotsanivanh

          I don't remember water, for some reason I keep thinking some ketchup instead? Worcestshire sounds right, and tabasco instead of/ or in additon to black pepper. And I'm pretty sure diced onion and celery sauteed with the meat first.

          1. re: coll

            like i said, never made this recipe before, but i think because this particular recipe calls for condensed tomato soup there is probably a need for some water.

        2. The Joy of Cooking has a great recipe. Iirc, chopped bell peppers are involved, also chopped onion, some ketchup, oh man it is good.

          When I serve it (and it has been too long) I like to "toast" the buns on a skillet in a little butter. I use cheapo fluffy white "potato" sandwich buns from the grocery store. The sandwich bun is smaller than a hamburger bun, and I find it much more delightful to have two smaller sandwiches than one big Sloppy Joe.

          Bonus, the JoC reminds us that in some parts of the US it is called "loosemeat." Rolls off of the tongue nicely, doesn't it?

          1 Reply
          1. re: john clark

            **Big head slap!**

            I never thought about checking my Joy!! I was hoping to find some tried and true recipes but looks like almost every ones recipe calls for canned soup. Might as well use Manwich! I checked labels on line last night and there is less sodium and other crap in that stuff than in a can of condensed tomato soup. Go figure. I bought burger, tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic last night. I will look at the Joy when I get home and see if can whip something up tonight and will report back.

          2. a
            Amuse Bouches

            Probably not exactly what your husband remembers from childhood, but epicurious has a great recipe for "Spicy Turkey Sloppy Joes" that are regularly featured at dinner in my house. Diced green chiles, bell peppers, ketchup, ale, worcestershire sauce -- I serve on whole wheat buns with some shredded cabbage.