I started making several of our childhood favorites from scratch after my food allergies decided to get worse as an adult. I found it easier to watch what additives I was ingesting and control the salt and sugar in addition to eliminating my allergy triggers. We all get into this habit of just cracking open a can of Manwich and mixing it into hamburger meat. It seems quicker than making sloppy joes from scratch, but they are both just as easy.
This recipe is super quick if you keep onion and bell pepper in your freezer like I do. While I cut up my own onion and peppers for freezer storage, you can always buy them in the freezer section of your store. Doing it yourself is a great way to save money and it allows you to cut them to the size you prefer. For instance, my boys like them chopped really small. They don’t particularly like either onion or bell pepper, but as long as they are small and cooked until soft, they will tolerate them.
As for the other spices, you should always have an assortment of basic herbs and spices on hand. These few are found in many dishes and will always be used regularly in my kitchen. We usually eat these open faced on toast or buns because of the sloppiness topped with our favorite cheese of choice. (Cheddar for me and American for Jim)
You can add the cheese while it’s still in the pan, so that it gets melty on top or just put it on when serving. Your choice! Enjoy!
- 2 lb ground chuck
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- Brown meat and drain off excess oil. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, and roughly two cups of water. Bring this to a simmer and cook until water is gone. Once water cooks out add another cup of water and continue simmering. Adding the water during this cooking will help soften the vegetables without burning the meat. While it cooks mix all the other ingredients in a small bowl creating your sauce and set aside.
- Once the vegetables are fully cooked and softened and the water has almost cooked out completely, then add the sauce mixture. Stir the sauce completely into the meat. Simmer 1-2 minutes then top with cheese or serve as is on buns or toast. If your meat mixture has gotten too dry you can add a little water to thin it out.