Research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the Sloppy Joe began in a Sioux City, Iowa, cafe as a “loose meat sandwich” in 1930, the creation of a cook named Joe!
References to Sloppy Joes as sandwiches begin by the 1940s and go by different names: Toasted Deviled Hamburgers, Chopped Meat Sandwiches, Hamburg a la Creole, Beef Mironton and Minced Beef Spanish Style.
Here’s a good Sloppy Joe Recipe ripped from the interweb:
10 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of cooking time – makes four servings.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup minced carrots (can sub chopped bell pepper)
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 lb ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce (or 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, puréed)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
Pinch ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 turns of freshly ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns
Sauté the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic.
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat.
Add the minced carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. (If you are using bell pepper instead of carrots, add those at the same time as the onions.)
Add the chopped onion and celery.
Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent, about 5 more minutes.
Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove from heat.
Brown the ground beef: Using the same pan (or you can cook the meat at the same time as the vegetables in a separate pan to save time), crumble the ground beef into the pan.
Sprinkle with salt.
Do not stir the ground beef, just let it cook until it is well browned on one side.
Then flip the pieces over and brown the second side.
Remove the beef from the pan using a slotted spoon, and combine the beef with the ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar, sugar, spices and vegetables.
Return the beef and vegetables to the pan and stir well to combine.
Add the ground cloves, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
Serve on toasted hamburger buns
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“Well me & Sloppy Joe got married.
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Down in Lunchlady Land”