I have a love-hate relationship with sloppy joes. I do love the flavor, but there’s a soupiness threshold for me. Sure, it’s easy to buy a can of Manwich or some other pre-made sauce mix, but I think when you know what the sauce basic are, you just might want to try your own.
Brief Soapbox: The key reason I object to canned sloppy joe mix is that they all use corn syrup because they are tomato-based. I’m on a less-traditional bandwagon against corn syrup–and I don’t really care if it’s high- or low-fructose. First, why in God’s name does tomato sauce need sweetening? If the tomato is picked at the peak of ripeness, rather than forced into ripeness chemically, then they wouldn’t be bitter when cooked. Second, like milk allergies 15 years ago and nut allergies 10 years ago, the newest mass produce allergy is to corn; while research is too young to be conclusive, the prevailing medical, biological, and horticultural opinion is that this is because these products/industries are the first and largest to move into GMO production.
Okay, lesson over…for now.
Aside from that, don’t you want to be able to control the flavor of your sloppy joes! All they are is ground meat, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worchestershire sauce, and seasonings. Sure, you can add other stuff like onions, peppers, tomato chunks, heat, etc., but that’s the basic recipe.
Ingredients (in the order they’ll go in the pan)
- 1 lb ground meat–whatever you like, but tonight we have turkey
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 cups of tomato sauce (about 1 can)
- 2T of tomato paste (often contains corn syrup so steer towards the international tubes of tomato paste like Amore)
- 2T Worchestershire sauce (make your own GF/CF/SF with this recipe!)
After that, whatever you add is essentially your personalization of the basic sloppy joe:
- green peppers
- diced onion
- crushed or diced tomato
- bbq sauce
- any variety of spices
Serve this delicious concoction on a hamburger bun (traditional) or in a hot dog bun (practical). We are especially fond of eating them with a whole green onion. And tonight, our sloppy joes are paired with tater tots and fresh cooked green beans.