Sloppy joes are definitely one of my favorite summer meals...something about them just screams lazy summer evening. I'm definitely not above opening up a can of Manwich, but this homemade version hits the same flavors using pantry ingredients (and way less sugar and ketchup than many recipes I found). It's also super easy to pull together - just saute peppers and onions, brown the meat, and then dump in the sauce ingredients. Simmer for a bit, and you're ready to go! I like to serve my sloppy joes with cheddar cheese for a rich element and bread and butter pickles to brighten up the sandwich.
Homemade Sloppy Joes (adapted from Pinch My Salt, original recipe here)
1 T oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 large bell pepper, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup water
1 small can tomato paste
1/4 cup ketchup
1 T brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch ground cinnamon
A few grinds freshly ground black pepper
To serve: toasted buns, cheddar cheese, bread and butter pickles
1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and saute until softened and just starting to brown.
2. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with your spoon. Cook, stirring often, until the beef is cooked through. Drain the excess fat out of the pan.
3. Add the water, tomato paste, ketchup, brown sugar, and spices to the pan. Stir to combine, and then simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until everything looks nicely married.
4. Serve on toasted buns with cheddar cheese and pickles (or whatever toppings you like).