Saturday, May 1, 2010

Just How Sloppy is Joe?

There was a restaurant, on the corner of Center and 12th in Salem that served the best Sloppy Joes ever! And no, I never got to try them. Mom and her friends would go shopping and that is where they loved to have lunch. The check was served with chlorophyll pills to help disguise the garlic and spices on the ladies breath. She finally got Dad to try them on an evening out, once. Dad had eaten the original Sloppy Joes back during the war and did not like these posers.

Once Scott and & were married, as we tried to find common ground on our meals, we agreed we had both like the sloppy joes served at school. So I tried the spice packet and we were in love with the dish. I really don’t know why I didn’t just call Aunt Vi, she who had the school’s recipes. Seems, all you needed to do was ask a school cook and they would give out a sheaf of papers with all their recipes!

 I found a recipe in a magazine about 25 years ago and tried it. It was as close to what we had eaten at school as possible. I was telling Aunt Vi about it and she gave a disgusted laugh, she of the Extension Ladies Cooking, Needlework, Arts & Crafts Club. Then we both had a good laugh over how we never seem to remember to ask our family if they can help out with a problem!

Here is the way I now make Sloppy Joes:
Sloppy Joes
1 pound lean ground beef
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup sweet pickle juice
1 TPSP worchestershire sauce
1 small can tomato paste or a 14 oz can of tomato sauce
  1. ½ cup water – not needed if using the tomato sauce
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet to hot
  3. Add the ground beef, onion, and celery
  4. Allow the ingredients to BROWN!
  5. Drain if it’s too greasy
  6. Add ketchup, pickle juice, worchestershire sauce, and tomato paste/water or tomato sauce, stir to combine
  7. Let simmer a minimum of 10 minutes up to 2 hours.  The longer it simmers the better the flavor
  8. Serve over toasted buns with a green salad and dill pickles
Serves 4

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