Sloppy Joes are just. so. good. They remind me of growing up and it’s simply one of those foods that tastes just as good as an adult. I first made these from scratch when I was having a major craving for SJ’s and didn’t have any Manwich on hand. Bummer. Or so I thought. I did a quick search online and came across a simple recipe with ingredients I had on hand (it’s been so long, I can’t remember the source). I’ve adapted it slightly over the years and am excited to share it!
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup minced sweet onion (about 1 small onion)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional – packs a kick! I used to do this, but too spicy for the kids)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes (pureed in a food processor)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1.) In a saute pan, brown ground beef. Add onion and cook until translucent. Drain any excess fat.
2.) In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, pepper, salt, paprika, and garlic powder. Sprinkle over ground beef. Stir in vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in tomato puree and tomato paste and simmer for 5 minutes.
3.) Serve on a hamburger bun with sliced cheddar cheese.