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In the Kitchen with Gram...Sloppy Joes!

Curse you, Adam Sandler, and that damn "Lunch Lady" song!! To this day I cannot say "sloppy joe" without immediately singing, "sloppy joe, slop, sloppy joe".

Gram is having company next week and in preparation of their arrival, she requested that we make sloppy joes. Here's something I've learned over the years...sloppy joes are as unique as chili. Everyone has their own method and their preferred taste!

Gram's, however, are a homerun with everyone...super easy, with ingredients we all have on hand. (If you don't have ketchup on hand, we can no longer be friends. That's all.)

Let's get cookin'! (Warning: This is NOT a precise recipe! This is definitely a "season to taste" recipe!)

Brown your burger...take note of the butter in the bottom, a Gram standard!

Add in onion:

And minced garlic:

Next up, chili powder:

And, because the clump of brown sugar is impossible to differentiate from browned hamburger in a photo, just pretend there is a gorgeous, well differentiated photo of brown sugar being added to the hamburger here:

Gorgeous, huh? (So glad we all have good imaginations...)

Now, the ketchup. Heinz, OF COURSE.

And mustard...I'd say about a 1/4 of the amount of ketchup you put in.

Stir well, cook down, taste and adjust seasonings if need be! We added a bit more salt and a splash of vinegar (it was a smidge too sweet, the vinegar cuts that).

Serve on dollar buns, add cheese or pickles or go all out and add cheese AND pickles. GASP!!! Only if you dare, though. ;)

Gram's Sloppy Joes 

(Recipe based on 3lbs of hamburger, all approximate amounts, taste and adjust seasonings before serving)
3 lbs hamburger, seasoned w salt and pepper, browned in 3 T butter
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 "Gram handfuls" chili powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Apple cider vinegar (optional)
1 c. ketchup
1/4 c. yellow mustard

Brown hamburger, onions and garlic. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine and allow to simmer for approx 15 minutes to meld flavors. Taste and adjust accordingly. If it's too sweet, add a splash of vinegar. If it's just kind of "blah", add a bit more salt and some chili powder. If you like your sloppies with a bit more kick, crank up the chili powder amount! Serve on dollar buns as is, with cheese or pickles or go all out and add cheese AND pickles! Yum.


  1. Must be very delicious. I like this kind of food.

  2. Yum!! The neat freak in me could never abide by mom's sloppy joes while growing up. She made them with Manwich or something and they really were way too saucy and S-L-O-P-P-Y! I use a recipe similar to yours (though I must admit I never tried browning the ground beef in butter) nowadays, and they're tasty but not too sloppy LOL! I am having visions of these "slider" versions served on those sweet Hawaiian rolls ::salivating:: Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. I LOVE the pictures that you post of the recipes. I feel like I should be smelling the food from my monitor! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  4. I just made these! Thanks for the recipe. It was quick, easy, and super good!

  5. Tried these last weekend with my in-laws and grandparents-in-law. My husband's mom and grandma are supreme cooks, and I'm always nervous cooking for them...but everyone loved them. Grandma was most surprised by the apple cider vinegar! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Just made these last weekend for my husband's extended family. I'm always nervous cooking for my mother-in-law and her mom, because they are such great cooks. Everyone loved these...grandma was most surprised by the apple cider vinegar. Thanks for the recipe!


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