A few weeks ago, we opened our great grandmother's church cookbook at random and found ourselves looking at a recipe for "Untidy Josephs."
We quickly realized that these were the sloppy joes of our childhood, and just a quickly, we knew we had to make them without delay!
We've made a few tweaks and clarifications to the original recipe shared by Ms. Shirley Nelson, and we think you'll agree that this is nostalgia at it's finest. It's good to know that some things are still as good as we remember.
The savory hamburger takes center stage, as it should. The sauce has a deep tomato flavor and a slight sweetness. That splash of cider vinegar is the final touch to bringing out all the flavors in each chewy bite.
Serve these sloppy joes on the softest, spongiest hamburger rolls you can find. They're perfect for holding the filling in place and soaking up the delicious sauce.
Old-Fashioned Sloppy Joes
adapted from Favorite Recipes from First United Methodist Church of Still Water, Minnesota
makes 6-8 servings
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
10-ounce package of mushrooms (button or baby bella), sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tsp salt
8 hamburger buns
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the beef. Remove to paper towels and wipe the excess fat from the pan.
Still over medium-high heat, cook the onions in the beef fat until they are softened and translucent, about five minutes. Add the celery and mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms have released all their moisture and turned golden brown in spots, about eight minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about thirty seconds.
Return the ground beef to the pan, and add the remaining ingredients.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning. If the sauce is too thin, simmer uncovered for another 5-10 minutes until the desired thickness is reached.
Serve on hamburger buns. Don't forget a napkin.