Best Sloppy Joes Ever

Sloppy Joes. Everyone was so pleased to dig into my updated Sloppy Joes. Slow cooked goodness seasoned with Aleppo pepper and sumac. Regular tomato paste is fabulous, but I like to change it up sometimes and additionally include some of my homemade red pepper paste. My family was excited to have cheesy bread, accompanied by my homemade pickles and these delicious fried shallots I’ve been enjoying.

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Best Sloppy Joes Ever

  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 40 min
  • Cook Time: 5 hr 30 min
  • Total Time: 6 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 56 servings 1x

Description

This recipe is so good, it’s mandatory to double it! This dish ends up being rather spicy, so if you want a more mild, kid-friendly version leave out the chipotle peppers, cayenne and hot sauce.


Scale

Ingredients

1 – 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, if needed

1 pound ground beef

1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

½ red bell pepper, seeded & finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more if needed

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon fresh dry mustard (if yours is from 1989 it’s time to invest in a new one)

1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper, optional

1 teaspoon sumac, optional

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or 2 tablespoons if not using apple cider vinegar)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 – 6 oz can tomato paste

1 – 14 oz. can tomatoes with liquid(fire roasted if possible), pureed

2 oz. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed, optional (these make the dish spicy)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, optional (if gluten-free, leave this ingredient out)

A few dashes of hot sauce, optional


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200F.

Prepare and measure all ingredients. Set aside.

Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the beef and if needed, 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil. Stirring occasionally, cook for 1 minute. 

Add the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic, and stirring to break up the meat and frequently, cook until meat is cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, and the optional Aleppo pepper and sumac, stirring to combine. 

Add the vinegars and brown sugar, stirring to combine well. 

Add the tomato paste, pureed tomatoes and all remaining optional ingredients (Adobe peppers, Worcestershire and hot sauce), stirring to combine well. 

Transfer to a slow cooker, Bain Marie, or keep in the Dutch oven and place into a larger pan with water and place in the oven. Cover and cook, stirring every ninety minutes, until done, about 6 hours. 

Note: Make sure to replenish water in the pan when needed, if it evaporates. I like to try a bit along the way and decide when it tastes perfect. (We generally can’t wait much longer than 5 or 6 hours because anyone who comes within a mile of my kitchen or happens to call me on the phone that day is eager to eat it.) You may end up cooking between 4-6 hours, depending on your idea of the perfect Sloppy Joe. Add more sugar or vinegar as desired. Serve on a beautiful white hamburger roll.


Notes

  1. Make sure to replenish water in the pan when needed, if it evaporates. I like to try a bit along the way and decide when it tastes perfect. (We generally can’t wait much longer than 5 or 6 hours because anyone who comes within a mile of my kitchen or happens to call me on the phone that day is eager to eat it.) You may end up cooking between 4-6 hours, depending on your idea of the perfect Sloppy Joe. Add more sugar or vinegar as desired. 
  2. What is a baine-marie? Also known as a water bath or double boiler, a baine-marie is a piece of equipment used in cooking to heat food gently. A bain-marie is also used to melt ingredients for cooking.
  3. For gluten free, just remove the Worcestershire and serve on gluten-free roll.
  4. Click here for the Paleo version.

1 thought on “Best Sloppy Joes Ever

  1. I wanted to make this but couldn’t factor in the long cooking time, so I decided to try it in my Instant Pot — it came out great! I cooked the ground beef, onions, celery and bell pepper right in the IP using the Saute function, then added all the other ingredients and selected Bean/Chili function which cooked it for 30 minutes, then let the steam release naturally. It was so tender, rich and flavorful — yes, the BEST sloppy joes! I highly recommend trying it using this method to save time!

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