Do you wing Sloppy Joes?

terri_pacnwSeptember 12, 2007

I'm going to make Sloppy Joes..#1son asked for them in the past few weeks, and I have 2 lbs of ground turkey. I've got Honey Wheat Rolls rising. I found Rachel Ray's recipe, which sounds easy and good, and then another one from another site, that's a bit different. I think I shall combine aspects of each, to come up with something the boys will eat..(Daddy's staying after work and playing basketball, so we can eat something he won't eat.)

My question is..RR's calls for 1 c tomato sauce, the other 1 c ketchup. I have ketchup or tomato paste. I'd rather use the tomato paste..but should I use a whole cup, or use less and add a bit of water? Or just use 1 c of the paste and double everything else?

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A cup of paste sounds like waaaaaaaayyyyyyy too much to me.
I'd use a Tablespoon of paste and a little ketchup and/or water to taste.
I like mine sweet, but lots of people don't.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 5:54PM
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Terri, I made Sloppy Joes last night. I Hadn't had one in ages and they just sounded good. I make then the same way my DM did when I was growing up. I just wing it.

Ground beef (sirloin usually), onion, brn sugar, ketchup, celery seed and water to simmer.

Tomato paste doesn't have seasonings and the taste of the Sloppy Joe might be a bit flat.

I've never made them with turkey but no reason not to.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 5:59PM
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I wing sloppy joes....
For 2 pounds of turkey I would sautee an onion, chopped fairly small, in a little EVOO slowly until very soft but not browned and, perhaps ad a little chopped celery to the mix.
When the veggies are soft, add the meat and stir to break it up while cooking until the pink is gone, then I would add about a cup of liquid, chicken broth, beer, beef broth or even water if that's what you have.
I wouldn't add tomato paste as that would be to intense a tomato flavor for me, I would add a cup or so of catsup, about 2 T mustard a few dashes of w'shire and simmer uncovered in an open fry pan until thick enough to pile on a bun....taste for seasoning, if you have used water instead of broth it will need salt.
You could also use a can of tomatos that has been whirred in the blender instead of the catsup, but then you would need to add a little vinegar or lemon juice and a bit of sugar.
I know many people make sloppy Joes by adding a can of soup like Campbells vegetable beef or Contadina Italian tomato and cooking some onions with a pound of meat...That's the thing about sloppy Joes, nothing is engraved in stone...but I think if you added a cupo of tomato paste...that's more than a little 6 oz can, you would find it way too tomatoey!
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 6:03PM
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I've tried both and several versions of both in my quest for the Sloppy Joes my grandma made. This was by far my favorite. Next time, I'll make them with ground turkey. I cook it on top of the stove till done and top the Joes with deli cole slaw. (It tastes better served the next day.)

Sloppy Joes BHG 16 to 20 servings .......
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/4 cups catsup
1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder, / optional ...I omit
16 to 20 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Directions In a large skillet cook ground beef, onion, and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat.
In a 31/2- or 4-quart crockery cooker combine catsup, sweet pepper, celery, water, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder. Stir in meat mixture.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours. Spoon into toasted buns.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 6:03PM
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I wing it, sometimes I put 1/4 c bbq sauce to all the above.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 6:41PM
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Thanks everyone..I'll report back with the path I chose.

Kathy, your ingredients list sounds the most like what combining the two recipes I found online would make.

Linda, some very good suggestins as usual.

I'd rather like it a bit BBQ'ey myself..but one of my kids isn't so found of we'll go "traditionally" flavored. Minus the green pepper..but definately with minced or grated onion.(they actually like the flavor of onion, but don't want to see onion pieces.) LOL

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 6:46PM
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My Mom used to just wing it. But one day I measured out her recipe which is very good.

Sloppy Joes

2 TBL oil
¼ c. chopped onion
1 c. Heinz chili sauce
1/3 c. water
¼ c. dark Karo Syrup
¼ c. cidar vinegar
½ tsp salt
1 TBL Worcestshire sauce
1 Garlic Clove minced

Brown ground beef. Saute Onion, garlic in oil. Add other ingredients and then add to ground beef and simmer 10 minutes.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 7:15PM
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Thanks Michelle.. that sounds good too.
I unfortunately will have to try it another time. I only keep Sweet Chili Sauce from the Asian market on tap. LOL
Very different bird from the Heinz type stuff.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 8:03PM
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Yup all that was said above and maybe a shot of A-1 to boot.

At heart I think you need some tomato and spice to make a sloppy joe. Some like sour and some like sweet. Suppose you could do both and call it a chinese sloppy joe. I like hot so some hot sauce is in the mix.

My favorite is Open Pit and a shot of A-1 to cooked and drained burger. Then I add ketchup until it is "juicy" enough to make a joe. Some salt, black pepper, and hot sauce until it suits my taste that day. Probably closer to a bbq sandwich then a joe. Some chopped onion and peppers would move it joe side.

Interesting joe-ish sandwich is a can of baked beans to above. Less Open pit and some brown sugar to tweak it to my taste.

A wide open sandwich... how could you go wrong? Thick bread or bakery buns to soak juice and go.

: )

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 2:45AM
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Of all the recipes I "wing", Sloppy Joes isn't one of them. I first made this recipe when I was 11-years old and in 4-H (Snacks and Little Lunches - 4-H guide), and have used and shared this recipe more times than any other. I usually use bison, but beef or ground turkey work just as well.


(Extension Service, Kansas State University, Manhattan, - July 1963)

(10-12 servings)

1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped green pepper (if desired)
1/4 c. chopped celery
1 T. fat (if using very lean meat)
1 pound ground beef
1 small can tomato sauce
1/4 c. catsup
1 T. vinegar
1 T. sugar
1-1/2 t. salt (or to taste)
1/8 t. pepper

1. Brown ground beef and vegetables together. Drain any juice/fat.

2. Add remaining ingredients. Put lid on frying pan. Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes over low heat.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 6:35AM
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I always wing Sloppy Joes. Hardly anyone here makes them, though they are always popular when I do make them for others. Years ago when I was a young adult, I made a batch for a group of friends I was staying with. They really liked them and one of the girls decided to make them herself a couple of weeks later. The next day I got a call from her boyfriend, who asked, "Do you use a cup of tomato ketchup or a cup of tomato paste in those Sloppy Joes?" I replied that I used ketchup. "Yep, that's what I tried to tell GF, but she insisted it was tomato _paste_. They were horrible. Nothing like yours." So, I wouldn't use tomato paste :-).

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 6:53AM
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Thanks everyone for the recipes and the taste tips!

Here's what I did.
I enjoyed them very much..

1 pk ground turkey 20 oz
half white onion minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 c ketchup
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 T worchestishire
kosher salt on the veggies while softening in EVOO
a bit of Penzey's Galena Street Rub Seasoning
1 good squirt yellow mustard.

A bit sweet and a bit tangy..
photo is on WFD..

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 12:27PM
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I grew up on my mom's Spoonburgers:

1 lb. ground beef
a small onion finely chopped
1 can Campbell's condensed chicken gumbo soup
"some" catsup - usually 1/8 to 1/4 cup
"some" mustard - usually a TB or two
s&p to taste

brown beef, drain off fat, saute onion in with beef, add can of soup, catsup, mustard, s&p - heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes or so - serve on warm hamburger buns

You could use a vegetable barley soup if you couldn't find the chicken gumbo.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 1:00PM
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We have always had 'White' sloppy joes.

1 pound gr. beef (or other..., we used alot of ground lamb back on the farm)
1 small onion finely diced
2 stalks of celery finely diced
1 can of low sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup (or cream of celery)
up to 1.5 cups of milk

Sweat the onions and celery in a large skillet with a little oil. When the veggies are soft, add the gr. beef, or turkey, stirring to break it up and brown. When the beef is brown drain off the fat, reduce heat to med-low and add the mushroom soup, stirring it into the meat and veggies, add up to 1 and a half cups of milk until it reaches the consistency that you like. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

We always served it spooned over a thick slice of bread, with pickles on the side.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 4:15PM
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Wow, thanks for bringing back a good memory for me. I bet I haven't eaten a sloppy joe in 25+ years.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 4:19PM
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How timely! I was recently thinking that I should try sloppy joes for the kids. They've never had one. Though, in my part of the world, a sloppy joe isn't a groundbeef sandwich, it's a sandwich with some sort of lunch meat (usually turkey and ham), coleslaw and russian dressing on rye bread.

Really threw me when we first moved here.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 7:47AM
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That's definatly sloppy Sharon! LOL

I'd never heard of coleslaw on a sandwich until my husband asked me to make him mustard slaw for his BBQ sands???!!!!
It does make perfect sense though....

Look what I was missing growing up...Teehee..

nothing better than Eastern NC BBQ with slaw...But really I like any BBQ sandwich with slaw..
orjust a big bowl of slaw works too!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 12:52PM
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Terri, I did it! Two nights ago. I browned the beef and just added a good slug of bbq sauce (Bulls Eye brand), and mustard. A half cup of ketchup and some salt and pepper. I added a little water and simmered a while. I didn't have time to make bread or rolls so I bought store bread. First time in over a year. I should start a thread called "true confessions".... I almost feel guilty for buying bread! I have a great recipe, a mixer and a bread maker and I bought bread. I'm ashamed! The joes were wonderful and I was glad to eat something familiar from my childhood!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 10:41AM
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Sloppy Joe's, not one of my favorite foods. When we were younger I loved them. While my DD and SIL were staying with us for a few months Oct. to Nov. last year we made them often because them loved them. I can take them or leave them; the sloppy Joe's I mean. LOL

Linda P

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:37AM
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Good Going Bobby! I'm glad you you know how easy it is...And well..I have all the things you have too, but I've not convinced my family that homemade bread sliced is better than Sara Lee White bread...LOL So just make some french toast to use up all that "bad" bread...LOL

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 4:33PM
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I think that the key to good sloppy joes is to heat them in the slow cooker for a couple of hours after you make them on the stove top. I know that it sounds like a lot of extra work/clean up but they taste sooo good! I always do this when we're skiing and then they're ready to go when we walk in the door. That, and a snickers in the boys' parka pockets, stave off the inevitable post-slope slump!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 11:43AM
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