We used to go north to our cottage on weekends and Sloppy Joes were frequently our go-to Friday night supper. Easy to prepare, especially because they involved browning some ground beef, opening a can of Manwich, stirring and loading it onto a bun. I always had cans of Manwich in the cupboard. Manwich first came out in 1969 and was marketed as a fast, one dish meal. It arrived on the scene before Hamburger Helper but much later than Kraft Macaroni and Cheese which came out in the 1930s. I’m sure, back in the day, I tried a few varieties of Hamburger Helper and I know I whipped up more than a few batches of neon orange Mac and Cheese. Now I prefer making my own Mac and Cheese, casseroles concoctions, and Sloppy Joes. Perhaps we ate Sloppy Joes a little too often because I hadn’t made them in years. Recently we had guests over for a casual supper and I decided to try making them, sans Manwich. They tasted mighty good.
Sloppy Joe Ingredients:
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
2-3 gloves of garlic minced
1 12oz bottle of chili sauce
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c cider vinegar
1 T yellow mustard
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish (the secret ingredient)
In a heavy skillet brown the meat and season with salt and pepper. Use a colander to drain the meat and remove the grease.
In the same skillet, saute the onion, celery and garlic for 2-3 minutes until tender but not browned.
Whisk together the chili sauce, cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard and Worcestershire.
You can combine all of the components in the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes or put them all in a crock pot on low until you’re ready to serve. I use the crock pot. Either way, you want the flavors to meld.
Just before you’re ready to serve the Sloppy Joes stir in 1/4 cup of sweet pickle relish, my no longer secret ingredient.
I served the sloppy joes on seasame seed buns with corn on the cob, coleslaw and chips. You can choose your favorite sides.
NOTE: If you don’t have chili sauce in your pantry you can substitute a cup and a half of your favorite catsup. My hands down favorite catsup is Brooks Tangy.