The Quintessential Sloppy Joe Recipe

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Here is the cookbook that contains my recipe for sloppy joes.  I am not sure this cookbook is still in print but I acquired it somewhere many years ago along my many journeys back and forth from Texas to Kansas.  I find myself making the recipes in this book when I am a little bit homesick for my homeland.

O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties. Above the fruited plains!

The first step is to brown some ground beef (I use Trader Joe’s brand of 80/20 as it seems somehow in perfect alignment with the common joe theme of the sandwich – get it Trader Joe…sloppy joe…common joe.  This humble sandwich is perfect for the common or simpler person in you and in your life.  Add whatever of the holy trinity (celery, pepper, onions) that you have on hand.  Use a bunch of veggies as it will cook down and make the mixture succulent and vitamin-infused.  Kind of like how V8 works in recipes but without the sodium.  You can use green peppers or the pretty orange or yellow variety.  Just use up what you have in your vegetable bin.  It’s all good.

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After the  ground beef has cooked through, assemble the ingredients for the sauce.  There are a lot but all of them should already be in your pantry.

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The leafy stuff is the last of my parsley from my garden.  You can use the dried variety if you don’t have fresh.  It is basically catsup (or ketchup), Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, paprika, chili powder, salt, dried mustard, garlic powder, and black pepper.  Add the parsley in when the mixture has completed the mandatory three-step simmering process.  The trick is to add a cup of water with the spices above and then let it simmering down so that almost all of the water has evaporated.  Then you repeat with another cup of water and do this as many times as you can before the children are whimpering at your feet for a spoonful of the deliciousness.

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This is what is looks like when it is simmering…

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This is what is looks like when it has simmered down three times….

See below for the recipe.  I thought you would enjoy seeing the recipe as I see it on the splattered and worn page.  This recipe doubles and triples easily for a big crowd.  Spoon a healthy amount of the mixture on a soft hamburger bun and indulge.  It is also good with a dollop of cabbage slaw and some crisp hamburger pickles on top.  Hope you enjoy it and Happy 4th of July to all of my dear family, friends and neighbors in the USA and abroad.

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