Make your own meaty, thick sloppy joe sandwiches at home with this recipe using ground beef, chorizo, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, loads of spices and plenty of fresh chili peppers and tomatoes. So much better than straight from a can.
We took a trip with friends to Lake Placid over the summer and it was such a great vacation. The lake is gorgeous, and so serene in the morning. It was something straight from a story book, with the echoes of loons hooting through the dissipating early mist as the sun rose over the surrounding mountaintops. Each couple was in charge of the food on any particular evening and I personally found it a challenge to cook at such high altitude. It's true that everything takes longer!
Many of us planned elaborate meals that cost us hours in the kitchen, but one of the most memorable meals, and simplest of the trip, comes from our friend, Jimmy, who made for us Sloppy Joes. Thanks, Jimmy, for re-introducing something to me from old times passed!
Jimmy's Sloppy Joes hit the spot after a long day of tubing and water skiiing on the lake. We were starving! Jimmy and his wife, Dawn, popped open a few cans and mixed them up with simmering ground beef and we chowed the whole thing down, hungry as we were.
Since we enjoyed them so much, I decided to add a completely homemade version of Sloppy Joe Sandwiches to my "to make" list and finally got another hankering for them recently. This homemade version is a bit different, though, as we've incorporated a bit more spiciness to the mix - SHOCKER, I know! Extra spicy, from Mike?? - with more seasonings, some chili pepper additions (though you can easily adjust to your preference), as well as some spicy chorizo for an added dimension to the final sandwich. Yes, I am actually talking about "dimension" to a Sloppy Joe sandwich. See what running a food blog does to your brain?
It's a simple endeavor, of course. Everything is once you break it down. In a nutshell, cook down your peppers, onions and garlic in oil in a large pot. I've been using my Dutch Oven for everything. So perfect here. For the peppers, I typically prefer a spicy pepper mix, from jalapenos up through serranos, maybe toss in a habanero here and there, or a ghost for myself, but you can easily dial down the heat with your preferred heat levels. If you want a "no heat" version, go with bell peppers. It will be just as tasty and savory.
Next, toss in your beef and chorizo and cook them down. Add in the rest of your ingredients and simmer about 5 minutes. Give it a taste. Is it good? Serve it on buns! Want it to be even better, let it simmer longer. This is one of those recipes you can let simmer for quite a while to let the flavors develop even further.
Take a look at some on the spoon. So thick and meaty. YUM!
It's a bit like a chili. Serve this up on thick buns. Make sure the buns ARE thick, because, you know, Sloppy Joes can be SLOPPY. No joke. But freaking tasty! Thanks again, Jimmy! You too, Dawn! I hope you enjoy our version.
Homemade Sloppy Joes - Madness Style - Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3-4 thick, spicy chili peppers, chopped – I used a variety of red jalapenos, Georgia flames and banana peppers, but a red bell works!
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 8 ounces chorizo
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons cayenne powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup tomato sauce – For a more pronounced chili flavor, use our easy Tomato-Pepper Sauce Recipe
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Buns for serving
- Heat a Dutch oven or large pot to medium heat and add olive oil. Heat through. Add onion and peppers and cook about 6-7 minutes, or until softened.
- Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring.
- Add ground beef and chorizo. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the meats are cooked through.
- Add brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper, tomato sauce and vinegar. Stir and simmer about 5 minutes to bring the flavors together. If your sauce is too thin, cook a bit longer to thicken. You can easily let this simmer and let the flavors develop even more.
- Serve on your favorite buns!