Homemade Sloppy Joes

You can find various styles of beef sandwiches, beef on a stick, or beef pockets like empanadas throughout the world. The sloppy joe sandwich is uniquely American, though, and something that many people will relate to their childhoods. Most people grew up making sloppy joe sandwiches using sauce from a can, but it is possible to make it from scratch with fresh ingredients. We found that making homemade sloppy joes was not only easy, but the taste was better than what you can get from a pre-made sauce. You also have the option to make a different twist on the dish as well, perhaps making it a little spicy, but we chose to go with a traditional approach.

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Fresh Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 lb Ground Beef
  •  1/2 Medium White Onion – diced
  •  2 cloves Garlic – minced
  •  1 Red Pepper – diced
  •  3/4 cup Ketchup
  •  1 dash Worcestershire Sauce
  •  2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  •  1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
  •  2 cups Water
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Beef and Peppers

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the ground beef and onion into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat, breaking the ground beef up as it cooks, until the meat is browned and the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot water and stir, being sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to incorporate all of beef bits into the sauce. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Add another cup of hot water, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce is thick and the liquid has been reduced, about 40 minutes. Serve on buns.

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Reducing the Sauce
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Creating a Traditional Sloppy Joe Sauce
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Finished Sandwich

 

Butcher’s Sausage with Peppers and Onions

When we lived in Frankfurt, there was a butcher located on the corner of our street where we would go and buy fresh meats for dinner. Here in Colorado, we have to go a little bit further to get to a butcher, but it is well worth the effort. Everyone talks about farm to table cooking, but for home-cooks it isn’t always as easy. We also go to a local farmer’s market every weekend to get fresh vegetables. This is a meal that definitely reminded us of Germany, not just because of the sausage, but also because of using the fresh ingredients with no preservatives. Butcher’s sausage is a sausage that is made up of meat scraps that the butcher saves as they trim up different cuts of meat. Our sausage had pork, beef, duck pate, chicken liver, and chicken. It sounds like a crazy combination, but it tasted really good. Obviously, this recipe works well with bratwurst, beef sausage, or almost any type of sausage. You can also use green pepper if you’d like, but red and orange peppers are a little sweeter. Because the sausage has a lot of seasonings inside of it, there isn’t any reason to add anything other than some salt and pepper.

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Peppers and Onion from the Farmer’s Market

INGREDIENTS

  •  Two Links of Butcher’s Sausage
  •  1 Red Pepper – sliced
  •  1 Orange Pepper – sliced
  •  1/2 Red Onion – sliced
  •  2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  •  2 Buns or Hoagie Rolls
  •  Dijon Mustard
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
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Browned Sausage and Caramelized Vegetables

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat a large skillet with the oil over medium-high heat. Be sure to slice the peppers and onion into similar size strips. Place the peppers in the pan and sauté them for about 5 to 6 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and continue to sauté until peppers and onion begin to caramelize, about another 4 to 5 minutes. Butterfly the sausage and place them into the center of the pan, moving the peppers and onion towards the edge of the pan, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes per side until the sausage begins to brown. Spread the mustard onto the bun, place the sausage cut-side down, and cover with peppers and onion.

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Sautéing the Peppers and Onion
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Sausage and Pepper Sandwich

 

Spicy Sausage Sandwiches

We enjoyed a lot of different sausages during our time in Germany, including currywurst. Another thing that we enjoyed was going to our local butcher and seeing what seasonable meats were available. We are fortunate that have a butcher in our home town that does the same, so we went there a couple of weeks ago and we were able to get some Linguica sausage. It is a spicy cured sausage from Portugal and we cooked it in a spicy curry and chili sauce. We made more sauce than we needed for the sausages and plan to use it on some other things as well. It was simple, delicious, and definitely registered on the spicy scale. The sauce would be great with hot dogs, bratwurst, or beef links as well. Although not exactly the same as currywurst, it certainly satisfied that craving.

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Sausage in a Spicy Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  •  2 to 4 Sausage Links – Linguica or other style
  •  12 oz Beer – something that you would enjoy drinking
  •  1 cup Chili Sauce
  •  1/4 cup Malt Vinegar
  •  2 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  •  2 tsp Curry Powder
  •  2 tsp Hot Sauce
  •  1 1/2 Onion – thickly sliced
  •  3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
  •  Hoagie Rolls
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Linguica Sausage

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine the chili sauce, salt and pepper, brown sugar, curry powder, hot sauce, malt vinegar, and beer in a large sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat until it starts to simmer.  Continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes to reduce the sauce. While the sauce is thickening, brown the sausage in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the sausage and add another tablespoon of olive oil and the onion to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook the onion until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the sausages and onion to the sauce and simmer together just for a couple of minutes just to let the sauce coat the sausage and onion. Butterfly the sausage so that it will lay flat, place on the rolls, and spoon onions and sauce over top.

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Combine the Ingredients
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Sausage and Onion
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Cooked Onion
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Spicy Sausage Sandwiches for Two