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All American Homemade Sloppy Joes

Cooking Method
Courses ,
Difficulty Beginner
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 30 min Total Time: 45 mins

Originating from the US in the early 20th century, traditional Sloppies are quite simply ground beef cooked with onions and peppers inside a tomato and molasses sauce. They came about due to families in the 1930s having to make their food allowance stretch a little further and become inventive with cheaper cuts of meat during the Great Depression.

Yield: 6 Large Sloppy Joes

  • 4-6 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ pound beef mince (ground beef)
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp mild chilli powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of tomato ketchup
  • 1 cup of soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 6 large brioche burger buns
How To Make Homemade Sloppy Joes Step By Step
  1. Sloppy Joes step 1

    In a large pan or casserole dish, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and cook off the mince until it changes colour and no red meat is visible. Empty into a bowl along with all the juices.

  2. Sloppy Joes step 2

    Add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil into the pan. Tumble in the onion and pepper and cook until the onions soften (about 5-6 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes before scattering in the spices along with the salt and pepper.

  3. Once the veg has been coated entirely by the spices, deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, followed by the ketchup, soft dark brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine.

  4. Increase the heat to high and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken, ensuring you stir occasionally to prevent any meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan. This will take between 15-20 minutes.

  5. Sloppy Joes step 5

    Allow the meat to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving in buttery brioche buns.


One thing to remember when making these succulent beauties is that due to the molasses sugar used in the sauce, these remain quite hot for a while after cooking, and to avoid burns you must allow the filling to cool before slapping them inside of their wonderful buns.