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Sloppy Joes

My friends Parker, Kate and I often talk about food at work. When work is especially slow, we fantasize about what we want to make for dinner. This Friday was the last day of school vacation week and my office was a ghost town. We were messaging one another about our favorite junk-food meals, (tater-tot casserole, Frito pie) and we started discussing sloppy joes.

I remember the first time I heard of a sloppy joe; I was a little girl watching Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in their film, “It Takes Two.” In the  movie, there is a massive food fight scene starring the humble sloppy joe sandwich. I was 9 when the film came out and had never had one; it’s not really the kind of food my mother would make. In fact, since I also never ate “hot lunch” at school, I was married and in my twenties before I ever ate a sloppy joe sandwich. 

So how can this possibly be a comfort food favorite of mine? The minute I had my first bite, it felt like home. Similar in flavor to a hamburger or a meatloaf due to the ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, this sandwich was both a completely brand new textural experience to me (it really is sloppy!) and absolutely familiar. I was hooked. 

I like to enjoy mine with a bread and butter pickle spear and a root beer on perfectly buttered and toasted buns. Enjoy!

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beed
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Put the ground beef and onion into a cold, large skillet with high sides; turn the heat to medium and cook while stirring until the beef is crumbled finely and browned. Add the garlic and orange bell pepper and cook another 2 to 3 minutes until the veggies are tender. 

Add the broth, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook on low until the mixture becomes very thick, about 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pile high on buttered and toasted buns. Enjoy!


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