Growing up, Sloppy Joes were a family favorite. We camped all summer long, whether it be in the pop-up trailer towed behind the car, all across the mountains of Colorado, or sitting in front of the campfire at the family cabin, our hands were messy and our mouths stained red from the sloppy goodness. Oh yes, goooooood memories.
More often than not, though, our sloppies were Tom’s – “Sloppy Toms,” we called them, as we used ground turkey instead of beef. (Tom the Turkey…in case you didn’t get the connection). For whatever reason, the interesting composition of high quality ground turkey appealed to us and paired quite well with the tamarind tang of worcestershire sauce. (What is the secret to Lea & Perrins anyway???)
In any case, Sloppies are comfort – good old wholesome family food. And, when you can make them specifically to comfort family, that makes it all the better.
And this time, I made homemade buns too. This man in my life, to whom I gifted these Sloppies, is a bun man. He loves buns 🙂 And these buns are well worth loving. They are soft, chewy, fluffy, and oh, so delicious. I haven’t decided yet if I’m now in the bun business or back to the bread baking business.
by the way, he fondly refers to this meal as his “snuggle bunnies.” THAT Makes it all the better ?
After trying these, you’ll have to decide.
Classic Sloppy Joes
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 Tbs. butter
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups catsup
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 Tbs. ground mustard
3 Tbs. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper, ground
Combine the butter, ground meat, onion, bell pepper, and carrots in a large pot and heat to medium. Stir until simmering, using the back of a spoon to break up the meat into fine pieces. Continue to stir until the fat begins to render, the veggie juices are realized, and things begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the catsup, sugar, mustard, worcestershire (Lea & Perrins), salt, and pepper – add a little extra pepper for some kick.
Allow to simmer for 10-20 minutes, until thick and delicious.
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/8 cup warm water
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. dry active yeast
1 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbs. cold butter, cubed
Add the yeast, sugar, and 3/8 cup (6 Tbs) warm water in a bowl of a stand mixer. Briefly whisk and allow to stand for 10 minutes, until the yeast has a chance to bubble.
Using the dough hook on the stand mixer, add the flour, remaining 1 cup of water, and salt. Mix for 4-5 minutes on low to medium speed. Then, add the butter and beat on medium for another 3 minutes.
Remove from the bowl and transfer to a separate grease lined bowl, loosely covered, and allow to rise for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Separate the dough into 6 smaller roll sizes and plop on to a parchment lined baking pan, dusting with flour. Bake 16-20 minutes, until puffy and soft.
Allow to cool slightly before slicing and slathering with the sloppy goodness.
By the way, I’m committing to calling these babies: Sloppy Dons. They were made specifically for his heart and soul. He’s the bun man and boy does he love a good slopper!