Sloppy Joes

Sometimes, I don’t want to eat a healthy, well-balanced meal.  Sometimes, I want red meat and french fries.  Sometimes, I want the only green things I eat to be pickles and Mountain Dew.  Tonight was one of those nights.  But, even when I feel indulgent, I want a delicious meal that I can’t get from a fast food restaurant – and I want it made from quality ingredients.  Tonight, I made sloppy joes, served them up with some fries and felt utterly satisfied after a long day of meetings and work.  

A few notes on these sloppy joes: Use extra lean, organic ground beef.  It crumbles wonderfully, allowing your seasonings to fully coat it.  It also minimizes the guilt factor when you overeat!  I suppose you could season these joes with one of those steak seasonings, but it’s really more fun to make your own.  You get a lot more flavor out of your own blend, because commercial ones are mostly salt.  The blend used below has warmth and kick without being downright spicy.  You could easily throw in some chili powder or hot sauce to make these spicier.  Buy your tomato paste in a tube so you don’t waste any.  

I love to serve these on sesame buns, lightly buttered and sprinkled with garlic salt.  And with pickles and Mountain Dew.  

Sloppy Joes


  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound extra lean, organic beef
  • 2 heaping T light brown sugar
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T bold red wine
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Spice Blend

  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dill seed
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp superfine ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the beef and crumble it with a wooden spoon.  When it’s crumbled, season the beef with the brown sugar, stirring to mix well.  Sprinkle the spice blend over the meat.  Cook the meat until it is fully browned, then reduce the heat and add the onions and garlic.  Saute the onions until they are soft and clear, then stir in the wine.  Reduce until it is completely evaporated.  Pour in the tomato sauce and paste and mix well.  Season with the oregano.  Reduce the heat to low, and let the mixture simmer for five minutes.
Serve with sesame kaiser rolls, french fries, and fizzy soda.
Serves 4.

3 thoughts on “Sloppy Joes

  1. @ Maryann – thanks! The leftovers were tasty, too!

    @ Reeni – whenever work gets stressful, I always gravitate toward homey, hot, pseudo-junk foods. This certainly hit the spot!

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