All these years I’ve thought sloppy joes were the worst dinner and then we spent months testing and now it’s the best sloppy joes recipe you’ll ever make!
Every time I heard that I was having Sloppy Joes for lunch at school as a kid I cringed. I was never too excited for Sloppy Joes at home either. Not knowing what was in the Sloppy Joes made it harder for me to eat, it should have been called Mystery Joes or something along those lines. For years we tried new recipes and each one was getting closer and closer to me finally accepting the sloppy mess of a meal. Everyone went crazy for them at school and families we knew loved them, clearly I was missing something. The Best Sloppy Joes recipe didn’t exist for me, yet…
As a teenager I watched Adam Sandler and Chris Farley perform “lunch lady land” on Saturday Night Live. Interestingly enough this skit gave me a new outlook on Sloppy Joes, not sure why. I told myself that I would no longer turn away a Sloppy Joe, there had to be a recipe out there that would bring some excitement to this simple meal.
Well a couple decades later this bad boy lands on my plate and a whole slew of feelings came rushing back, disgust, anxiety, unpleasant crunchy things, failure after failure of trying the recipe in the past, and almost complete despair of ever finding the Best Sloppy Joes recipe. Would this one be another flop? I sat down to the dinner table with that fake smile, that “thanks honey, this looks great” face on that I had nailed down over my childhood years. The smells began to hit my nostrils and to my surprise they were pleasant, smokey richness, grilled onions and peppers, almost like a bbq restaurant smell. I began to feel a little excitement in this Mystery Joe. I went in for the first bite and it was all over from there, seconds and thirds landed on my plate and my taste buds were chest bumping each other.
We have finally found the Best Sloppy Joes recipe out there! Not just the best, but a totally craveable recipe! This is Cade signing off, Carrian clearly won me over with this one.
The Best Sloppy Joes
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- ½ Cup Onion, diced fine
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1½ Teaspoons Garlic, minced
- 1 Pound Ground Beef (we use 80% lean)
- 2½ Tablespoons Dark or Light Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- ¾ Teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 Cup Ketchup
- ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Buns for serving
- Heat a dutch oven over medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, quickly add the onion and stir occasionally until translucent. Add the peppers and garlic and stir occasionally for 1 minute then add the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon, stirring it all together. Allow to cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the brown sugar, mustard, worcestershire, liquid smoke, chili powder, and paprika. Stir for 30 seconds and then add the ketchup and vinegar. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, season to taste and serve or cook up to 1 hour on low and then serve. The longer it cooks the better the flavor.
- Scoop onto buns that have been brushed with butter.