Sloppy Joe is a real American classic, comfort food the way it’s meant to be. Although I didn’t grow up with the dish, the description of it was enough to convince me. Even the name: I figured something called Sloppy Joe must taste as straight-forward, unpretentiously good as it’s name implies. And it didn’t disappoint. It didn’t disappoint at all.
This isn’t the kind of dish you serve at a dinner party or on a date. No cutlery needed: it’s messy and relaxed. It’s exactly the comfort you need after a long day of work, when you’re really hungry or when life has been hard on you.
I love the smokiness, sweetness and little hint of spiciness in the meat mixture. The soft, fluffy bread is the perfect satisfying accompaniment.
I know there are many variations for Sloppy Joes and for my non-authentic version I like to use the ingredients I simply have on hand. For me, there needs to be Worcester sauce in the beef mixture though, because I love the intense sweet and salty flavor. Sometimes I add some ketchup and brown sugar instead of barbecue sauce, or I add some mustard for spiciness.
I think the key is to really flavor the meat and to add a smokey touch, that’s why I always add some smoked paprika powder. In this version I used red pepper, but feel free to use whatever vegetables you want.
I like to make a big batch at once and freeze the leftovers. That way, ultimate comfort is just minutes away!
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