The Battle of Sloppy Joe

If you were in New Jersey and made Sloppy Joes, as we know it, for your friends, not only would you get a quizzical look, but probably be lynched. What they refer to as Sloppy Joes is a triple-decker sandwich made with rye bread and stuffed with thinly sliced tongue(not your mother-in-laws), ham, Swiss, coleslaw and Thousand Island dressing. Everyone has their own familiarity with Sloppy Joes. Now many of us think of Sloppy Joes as that hot, mildly spicy, messy sandwich we had growing up. Remember? Now the next question is, how long has it been since you have made it? There is absolutely no need to run to the store and buy a can, or package, of Sloppy Joe mix when you most likely have everything you need right at home. So let’s enjoy this classic “sandwich” again.

Spicy Sloppy Joes
To make this even more robust in flavors, omit the tomato sauce and substitute spicy tomato-vegetable juice, along with some minced jalapenos or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. For a chunkier Sloppy Joe, try using your favorite salsa instead of tomato sauce and paste. You can substitute a textured vegetable protein(such as diced tofu) in place of the meat, or even ground turkey for that matter. My parents put green peppers in our Joe’s growing up, but simply omit them if desired. I have added some hot sauce as well, but again, simply omit if you desired.

1 pound hamburger
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced green and/or red bell pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon yellow mustard
1(15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1(5-ounce) can tomato paste
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspon black pepper
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
4 hamburger rolls

Over medium heat in a large skillet, brown hamburger, onions and peppers until burger is cooked through; drain. Add remainder of ingredients and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring ocassionally. Evenly divide onto the bottoms of hamburger rolls, top with cheese and close. Oh, and eat!

Makes about 4 giant sandwiches