Fancy Sloppy Joes

by Liz on August 31, 2011

Sophisto Joe

Sloppy Joes take me right back to family dinners when I was a kid. There was a few years where my grandparents lived with us, and the family joke was that my grandpa was so messy when he ate that he needed a bib. I mean, we all know people who manage to spill something on themselves every time they eat or drink, right? Well, being that both my grandma and mom were pretty skilled with the sewing machine, eventually one was made for him. He would actually wear it at meals, and if there was ever a meal where an adult could use a bib, it’s Sloppy Joes.

diced veggies ingredients
melted butter butter and onions, baby

There are times when I remember why I named this blog what I did, and this is one of those times. This recipe starts out innocently, sautéing some onions in butter, but it ends up something that brings nostalgia with a little something extra (wine, to be specific). Today after class, I took myself and my shiny new iPad to the grocery store with me, and hung out at Starbucks for a little bit while searching on Epicurious for something to make for dinner tonight. I stumbled upon this recipe, and all the reviews were pretty positive. It also fit the bill of being uncomplicated, and I didn’t have to buy a lot of extra ingredients for it. Always a plus for this full-time student. This recipe is definitely going into the “something easy and tasty to make when I don’t know what to make for dinner” category. Once you make it, you’ll see why.

mirepoix Sophisto Joe

Fancy Sloppy Joes
Adapted a tiny bit from Epicurious “Sophisto Joes”

Really the only thing I changed was that the original recipe called for whole tomatoes to be puréed, but I skipped a step and just bought a can of crushed tomatoes. To be honest, I just didn’t feel like washing my food processor.


One 14.5 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1.5 pounds ground beef, not too lean (I used chuck)
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine
1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper


Sauté the onions in butter for about four minutes, or until soft. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds to a minute, until aromatic but not burning the garlic. Add the carrots and celery and sauté for another 5 minutes or so until soft and starting to get a little color, but not burning. Add the ground beef, breaking it up into smaller pieces and brown for about 5 or 6 minutes. Then, add the chili powder, cumin, and about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook another 2 minutes. Add the wine, crushed tomatoes, and brown sugar, stirring to combine, and cook another 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened a little.

Serve on toasted kaiser rolls, and wear a bib.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

switchblade September 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm

these look so ridiculously tasty. if only i were as good at cooking as i am at eating…

Jesica September 3, 2011 at 8:03 pm

I need me some burgers :(
I need me some burgers :(
I need me some burgers !!!!!!! :(

mom September 3, 2011 at 11:08 am

well, tomorrow’s lunch turned into saturday! don’t have wine so will have to figure out a sub of sorts…sloppy joe’s, husker football, and cooler weather…ahhhhhh

Ashley@BakerbyNature September 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Mmmm - my mom use to make this at least once a week! Looks delicious and filling.

Mom August 31, 2011 at 10:20 pm

ah, the bib! I will wear on when eating these…they look delicious and I think I have all the ingredients…well, minus the wine…I can crush garden tomatoes too! Tomorrow’s lunch here we come!

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