With Halloween this weekend I wanted to share my recipe for Sloppy Joes. This was a Halloween favorite as a child and I made them every year for my kids to eat before Trick or Treating. You remember as a child eating Sloppy Joes. My mom made them out of a can of Manwich. She would serve them open face over toasted buns. You had to eat them with a fork and butter knife. To this day I love them. I can taste them, smell them. Something so simple yet so fulfilling. My mom was not that into cooking. Yet there are a handful of dishes that I loved. She made chicken fried steak that any southerner would love and liver and onions (yes I said liver) that to this day I miss. It is amazing that I miss the simplest dishes. A can of Sloppy Joe sauce and I am back in my mommas kitchen. (don’t worry she doesn’t know Mr Internet so she has no idea I am talking about her )
Being the control freak I am, you won’t see a can of Manwich in my kitchen. I like to control my spices and prevent my brats from eating preservatives. I can’t keep them from eating chips and food with the main ingredient being crap but I can ensure that whatever I cook will be completely homemade. So I make as much as I can with seasonings I make myself. You’d be surprised-you have all the spices. And you might as well use them since they are in your cupboard. I get satisfaction when I use all the spice in a jar. I like that I used them rather than them going stale. Plus it is cheaper in the long run! Most of the spices in those spice packets are flour mixed with spices you already have. The real kicker are the ingredients you can’t pronounce. Then they charge you over a buck for it! Save your buck and open your spice cupboard. OK off my soapbox!
I’ve changed my mothers Sloppy Joes. I don’t exactly know how it happened. I always serve with homemade coleslaw. My coleslaw that I serve as a side dish is not traditional. It has pineapple and sunflower kernels. It’s killer. But The Fireman was not feeling it with Sloppy Joes. He complained. Yes it happens. His coleslaw ended on his sloppy Joe (on purpose) and the extra goodies were not wanted. So I took note and made my Simple Coleslaw (you’ll remember it from my Pulled Pork recipe) and once again The Fireman was a happy customer. Only the adults pile the coleslaw on the Sloppy Joes. The kids are fussier. One won’t touch it and the other wants it as a side dish. At any rate you will want to prepare the coleslaw first so it can marry in the fridge while you cook the Sloppy Joes.
1 pound hamburger (or whatever your grocer packages)
1 small onion diced
1 large clove garlic minced
1 TB red pepper flakes (just do it!!!)
3/4 to 1 cup ketchup (yes ketchup!!)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper
2 TB Yellow mustard (yes mustard)
1 TB brown sugar
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Brown hamburger, onion and garlic over medium heat.
Add all the other ingredients. Mix well. Taste. No this is important. My family likes it a little spicy and this is where I add more cayenne. Lower heat to low and let simmer ten minutes.
Serve on toasted buns piled high with coleslaw.
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