At last, a sloppy joe recipe for everyone.
Thick and rich, but still messy enough to warrant the name Sloppy Joes. Smoky, from the bacon and a delicious steak seasoning combo I've been introduced to. And just the right sweetness because you can adjust the recipe to your taste.
Serving 50 or more? Check out "Sloppy Joes for a Crowd."
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 1/2 pounds very lean ground beef
1 large onion, minced
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and minced
1 heaping tablespoon McCormick's Spicy Montreal Steak seasoning*
1/4 to 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed (little sweet to very sweet)
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
Salt, only if necessary
8 crusty hamburger buns or other crusty sandwich rolls
Fry the bacon in a large skillet. Add the ground beef to the skillet and brown, breaking up any large chunks as you go. Stir in the onion, red pepper, brown sugar and steak seasoning. Reduce the heat. Drain only if you must or if there is an excessive amount of grease.
Stir the mustard, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce together and stir the mixture into the ground beef. Let it simmer for 5 or 10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, then the tomato sauce to the skillet. Taste and season with salt, if necessary. (Worcestershire is pretty salty.) Simmer on low for an hour or two.
Serve on crusty sandwich rolls so the bread does not get soggy. Makes 8 hefty Sloppy Joes.Make-ahead preparation:
This recipe can be made well ahead of time and frozen, then thawed and reheated prior to serving.
Generally speaking, the sloppy joe mixture should be a little thicker (less sloppy) when cooking for a crowd and served in smaller portions. (Not So Sloppy Joe Recipe?)
To make 50 to 60 Sloppy Joes, follow the recipe above using these amounts:
3 pounds bacon, 10-12 pounds ground beef, 5 large onions, 4 large red bell peppers, 4 tablespoons steak seasoning, 2-2 1/2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup brown mustard, 1 cup red wine vinegar, 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 10 15-ounce cans tomato sauce, 3 12-ounce cans tomato paste. Drain away any excess grease, in this case.
Multiply the recipe as necessary for your crowd.