Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mama H's Famous Sloppy Joes

As mentioned in a previous post, J and I make Sloppy Joes for Halloween every year.  This year, due to our friends' wedding this weekend, we made them on Monday night instead of Sunday night.

Now Sloppy Joes may sound a little unappealing and for some, may conjure up memories of Billy Madison and the cook telling Billy she made the sloppy joes extra sloppy for him.  But trust me.  They are good.  Just ask J, a former non-believer.

Here's the story behind the tradition (and the name).

My mom (Mama H) would cook these for us every year on Halloween.  Usually we were so excited to go trick or treating we would eat one small one before we left (there was no leaving until we had eaten something!) and then it would be there, warm and waiting for us to devour after we got home.  This was usually followed by sorting and trading our candy.  Each of us siblings would have a shop where you could trade your not-so-favorite candies for more desirable one.  My favorites were always Snickers, Sweet tarts, and Reeses peanut butter cups, but I digress.

So it's not a Halloween picture of yore, but it is a Fall picture circa 1993.
Here is the recipe:

Mama H's Famous Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
3/4 cup of onion
1/2 cup of green bell pepper--note: I used fire roasted bell peppers this time because I forgot to get a fresh one at the store.  It worked great!
1/2 cup water
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Hamburger buns

Kitchen Supplies:
Large skillet

Brown ground beef, onion and bell peppers (if using fresh) in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once meat is cooked through, drain and return to pan.  Add rest of the ingredients: ketchup, water, brown sugar, worchestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar to beef mixture.  If you are using roasted bell peppers, this is when you would also add them to the pot.  Cook until juices reduce and thicken, approximately twenty minutes.  Top the joes on hamburger buns--this sandwich also works as an open-faced sandwich for those of us that are watching our carbs :)

Serve with pickle spear and cottage cheese, if desired.

This makes enough for 4 to 6 people, or in our case, 2 dinners and 4 lunches.  Enjoy!


  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe!! I am definitely putting it on the dinner docket: I've been looking for a good sloppy joe recipe forever.

  2. You're welcome! You will have to let me know what you think when it reaches the top of the docket :)


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