This is Grandma Iva's sloppy joe recipe, which my mom said was always served on Christmas Eve for as long as she could remember. But you don't have to wait for Christmas to make a batch, they're great any time of year.
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A 100 year old family tradition (at least)
This is Grandma Iva's sloppy joe recipe, which my mom said was always served on Christmas Eve for as long as she could remember. It's a tradition my mom continued and which a lot of us kids and grandkids continue to this day. But we don't always wait for Christmas Eve to make a batch of what we consider the BEST Sloppy Joe recipe - and you don't have to either! My grandmother Iva (Edwards) Peters was born in 1893.
National Sloppy Joe Day is March 18
In fact, National Sloppy Joe's day is every year on March 18, so that's another great day to make this easy yet super-delicious Sloppy Joe recipe. A hot sandwich on a cold, blustery March day really warms the body and soul. Sloppy Joes have been around a long time!
Sloppy Joes in a slow cooker
EASY! Just brown the ground beef and corned beef along with the onion in a skillet, drain, and toss it along with the rest of the ingredients into the crockpot. Cook it on high for 2 or so hours, or on low for 4 to 6 hours.
Easy to make more for a crowd
This recipe will make 6-8 sloppy joe sandwiches, but it's easy to increase the quantities to serve a crowd - just double or triple the quantities as needed.
Serve them up with hearty buns and toppers like dill pickles, jalapeno slices, chopped onion, even grated cheddar cheese. And don't forget to have a fork handy, because yes, they're sloppy!
Sloppy Joe Ingredients
- Ground beef - Be sure to use 75% to 85% lean. Even though you'll need to drain off excess fat, the beef is going to have a lot more flavor than leaner blends.
- Chopped onion - White or yellow work best, but green onions, red, or even vadalia will work too.
- Brooks Rich & Tangy Ketchup - First produced by the Brooks Tomato Products Company in Collinsville, Illinois (established 1907), now owned by BirdsEye. Use it if you can get it. If you need to use regular ketchup, add a 1 teaspoon of hot sauce, like Tabasco.
- Corned Beef - This is the canned type that does not have tiny diced potatoes in it. It's just straight corned beef. You'll find it at the supermarket with the other canned meats.
- Pantry staples - like flour, brown sugar, chili powder.
How to make Sloppy Joes with this 100-year-old recipe
- Brown and crumble the ground beef along with the diced onion in a large skillet (or Dutch oven if you're making it for a crowd). Drain excess fat and return the beef and onion to the pan.
- Add the corned beef to the pan and cook for about five minutes, crumbling the corned beef.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour. Cover the pan for about 40 minutes, then continue cooking uncovered.
- That's it! Now you can serve a hungry crowd.
Can you prepare Sloppy Joes in advance?
Sure! Just prepare the recipe and refrigerate a few days (or even freeze it for a longer period of time) until you're ready to serve them. Heat the Joe's up on the stove top over low heat and serve. If you froze the Joe's, you can thaw it before reheating, or thaw right in the pot on low heat, stirring frequently.
Other hot sandwich recipes you'll love
Grandma Iva's Sloppy Joe Recipe
- ½ pound ground beef 75-85% lean
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour - heaping tablespoons
- 1 cup water
- 12 ounces Brooks Rich & Tangy Ketchup
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 12 ounces corned beef (not corned beef hash)
- Brown the ground beef in a skillet or dutch oven together with the chopped onion. Drain the excess fat.
- Add the corned beef to the beef and onion mixture and continue to cook the mixture, breaking up the corned beef, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and simmer covered for 40 minutes, then uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring regularly. Serve hot.