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Sloppy Joe, an All-American Homemade Classic

Sloppy Joe, an All-American Homemade Classic
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  • Post #31 - March 2nd, 2020, 10:14 pm
    Post #31 - March 2nd, 2020, 10:14 pm Post #31 - March 2nd, 2020, 10:14 pm
    I knew early into our new life among the "Maid Rite" crowd in Iowa that before long I would give in to that temptation to make my own batch up to see how it stacked up. I opted for the gumbo version. (And sorry, not sorry about that not being "authentic"), but it's going to be in my what the heck's for lunch rotation.

    Stupid easy, brown and drain a pound or so of burger, sautéed onions and heck, green pepper if you want. A shake of onion powder, garlic powder a bit of s&p...and yes, a can of condensed chicken gumbo soup. Let it all sit and talk to each other for a bit to get to know themselves...introduce them all on a cheap squishy bun. If you're a purist, pickle and yellow mustard. Me, I'm a gamer so...some onion goes nicely.

    I'll still make my real, "sloppy joes" from time to time, but now there will be a can of cheap chicken gumbo soup in my pantry as well.
    D.G. Sullivan's, "we're a little bit Irish, and a whole lot of fun"!
  • Post #32 - March 2nd, 2020, 11:02 pm
    Post #32 - March 2nd, 2020, 11:02 pm Post #32 - March 2nd, 2020, 11:02 pm
    I have to buy this can of Chicken Gumbo, which I never would have dreamed could work. Yes, I have a friend who swears by it, but I need to experience it for myself.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #33 - March 3rd, 2020, 11:29 am
    Post #33 - March 3rd, 2020, 11:29 am Post #33 - March 3rd, 2020, 11:29 am
    Luckyguy wrote:Silver Cloud on Damen used to make a pretty respectable Sloppy Joe back in the day, which, paired with their tater tots, made for an unholy lunch. As David suggests, it's not very common to find a Sloppy Joe on a restaurant menu (especially in the city) so the one at Silver Cloud always scratched an itch.


    So what accounts for the lack of Sloppy Joes on many restaurant menus? Maybe this humble, usually homemade sandwich is not "fancy" enough for a restaurant.

    A big fan of cookies for dessert, I frequently ask chefs why they don't have cookies on their dessert menu. I get lots of answers, but one commonly recurring answer is that cookies are not high-end enough, not "fancy" enough.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #34 - March 3rd, 2020, 7:58 pm
    Post #34 - March 3rd, 2020, 7:58 pm Post #34 - March 3rd, 2020, 7:58 pm
    Hi,

    The next time you invite people new to your home, why not serve them a sloppy joe?

    I think it is a meal for family, though not likely for guests. Unless they show up as you are about to eat, so why not join us?

    Those family favorites are the ones without a recipe, because there was never one. It is made from rote memory. It also the dish people don't think to document until the cook has died or their memory impaired. Now they regret this loss.

    I have a whole Family Heirloom Contest featuring such recipes. :D

    Regards,
    CAthy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #35 - March 3rd, 2020, 9:10 pm
    Post #35 - March 3rd, 2020, 9:10 pm Post #35 - March 3rd, 2020, 9:10 pm
    David Hammond wrote:So what accounts for the lack of Sloppy Joes on many restaurant menus? Maybe this humble, usually homemade sandwich is not "fancy" enough for a restaurant.


    Maybe it's that the best sloppy joe's rely on a combination of some processed ingredients? It's possible to reconstruct these from scratch but involves a lot of work that might not be worth the effort if few people are ordering it? I'm spitballing here...
  • Post #36 - March 4th, 2020, 12:24 am
    Post #36 - March 4th, 2020, 12:24 am Post #36 - March 4th, 2020, 12:24 am
    David Hammond wrote:So what accounts for the lack of Sloppy Joes on many restaurant menus? Maybe this humble, usually homemade sandwich is not "fancy" enough for a restaurant.


    Hi David, Bob O’s Hot Dogs has a “Bbq beef” sandwich that’s actually a sloppy joe. Last time I had one they were running a sale for $2 per sandwich. The taste took me right back to the jr high cafeteria (in a good way)
    Image

    Looking for bbq beef sandwiches around town may be more fruitful.
  • Post #37 - March 4th, 2020, 6:30 pm
    Post #37 - March 4th, 2020, 6:30 pm Post #37 - March 4th, 2020, 6:30 pm
    eating while walking wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:So what accounts for the lack of Sloppy Joes on many restaurant menus? Maybe this humble, usually homemade sandwich is not "fancy" enough for a restaurant.


    Hi David, Bob O’s Hot Dogs has a “Bbq beef” sandwich that’s actually a sloppy joe.

    Looking for bbq beef sandwiches around town may be more fruitful.


    I'm guessing you're right and that menu items listed as "bbq beef" are probably very like a Sloppy Joe. Places like Bob O's or Mickey's on Mannheim are exactly the kind of places that would carry bbq beeves/Sloppy Joes. Finding them in regular restaurants, even "fast casual" places like TGI Fridays or Denny's, is much less likely.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #38 - March 5th, 2020, 7:43 am
    Post #38 - March 5th, 2020, 7:43 am Post #38 - March 5th, 2020, 7:43 am
    If it is on the menu at those places, is it on the kids menu? I wouldn't know why anyone would order one of those things when there are beefs, dogs, sausages, etc... available. I consider a sloppy joe the same way I do a Domino's pizza - kid stuff.
  • Post #39 - March 5th, 2020, 9:46 am
    Post #39 - March 5th, 2020, 9:46 am Post #39 - March 5th, 2020, 9:46 am
    eating while walking wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:So what accounts for the lack of Sloppy Joes on many restaurant menus? Maybe this humble, usually homemade sandwich is not "fancy" enough for a restaurant.


    Hi David, Bob O’s Hot Dogs has a “Bbq beef” sandwich that’s actually a sloppy joe. Last time I had one they were running a sale for $2 per sandwich. The taste took me right back to the jr high cafeteria (in a good way)
    Image

    Looking for bbq beef sandwiches around town may be more fruitful.


    This looks sort of like the BBQ beef at Buona Beef.
  • Post #40 - March 6th, 2020, 9:30 am
    Post #40 - March 6th, 2020, 9:30 am Post #40 - March 6th, 2020, 9:30 am
    Puckjam wrote: I wouldn't know why anyone would order one of those things when there are beefs, dogs, sausages, etc... available.


    Because man cannot live by beefs, dogs, sausages, etc., alone.

    Puckjam wrote:If it is on the menu at those places, is it on the kids menu? I consider a sloppy joe the same way I do a Domino's pizza - kid stuff.


    There's some food that pleasantly activates childhood memories. Sometimes that food is mac n' cheese, the first pizza we ate (which by the Pizza Cognition Theory becomes the paradigm for all to come), and the Sloppy Joe. Alas, sometimes those memories are stirred by lesser versions, like Kraft mac n' cheese, or Domino's pizza, but there's no reason why mac n' cheese or pizza are inherently kid stuff. Same with Sloppy Joes: good meat, good sauce and a good bun make a good sandwich.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #41 - March 10th, 2020, 9:12 am
    Post #41 - March 10th, 2020, 9:12 am Post #41 - March 10th, 2020, 9:12 am
    Sloppy Joes were a big thing where I grew up at the schools. People still search for the recipe. I have not made this one. I have my own recipe for sloppy joes I will try to look up. http://lostrecipesfound.com/franklin-pa ... oppy-joes/
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #42 - March 19th, 2020, 10:21 am
    Post #42 - March 19th, 2020, 10:21 am Post #42 - March 19th, 2020, 10:21 am
    BrendanR wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:A lunch counter or diner seems like the right place to look for Sloppy Joes, yet one rarely finds Sloppy Joes on any menu, anywhere.

    A notable exception is the 'wild boar sloppy joe' at Longman & Eagle that has been on the menu as long as I can remember.

    Lunch counters and diners might seem like logical spots for Sloppy Joes, but I think upscale pubs and taverns have more recently become the likelier sources.

    I first had Jared Wentworth's Wild Boar Sloppy Joe in 2008 at Quinn's, Seattle's first gastropub, before he brought it (and himself) to Longman & Eagle. It was okay, but I preferred everything else I tried there.

    David Hammond wrote:So what accounts for the lack of Sloppy Joes on many restaurant menus? Maybe this humble, usually homemade sandwich is not "fancy" enough for a restaurant.

    Have you searched for sloppy joe chicago? Without trying too hard I found over 30 in Chicago and the near suburbs. Some of these might be specials or part of children's menus, I really don't know, but Sloppy Joes seem more common than I expected.

    Vegetarian Sloppy Joes aren't that hard to find either: Best Intentions, Handlebar, Original Soul Vegetarian, Majani, and Twin Anchors serve them. That last one surprised me more than a little.

    There's no shortage of cheffy takes, with the abovementioned wild boar, Stephanie Izard's ground goat on a bun, several made with short ribs, and at least one venison version. Honestly, I have little desire to try these. Who will be the first to serve an artisanal gumbo burger?

    Puckjam wrote:If it is on the menu at those places, is it on the kids menu? I wouldn't know why anyone would order one of those things when there are beefs, dogs, sausages, etc... available. I consider a sloppy joe the same way I do a Domino's pizza - kid stuff.

    I can't disagree. Glancing through my search results I was surprised to see the likes of Moody's Pub and Ricobene's, old places I've been to multiple times, yet I was totally oblivious to their Sloppy Joes. I guess I tend to subconsciously ignore them on a menu, in favor of things I'm more likely to enjoy.

    Cathy2 wrote:I have to buy this can of Chicken Gumbo, which I never would have dreamed could work. Yes, I have a friend who swears by it, but I need to experience it for myself.

    You should definitely try it, but have realistic expectations. My moderate enthusiasm for gumbo burgers is closely tied in with childhood nostalgia (while avoiding the sweet-sauced meat I've come to dislike). It's tough to make a case that this is objectively good food, but I kinda like them, and it’s been interesting reading about a few others’ affection for an odd sandwich I was completely unaware of less than a year ago.

    Last September and October I systematically investigated various recipes to come up with my optimum gumbo burger. I’m sure others will have different preferences. As I mentioned above, I find the classic recipe to be close to my favorite. A few notes:

    I have a strong preference for Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Gumbo over their Chunky Chicken Gumbo with its unpleasant disks of "smoked" sausage. I prefer it straight from the can, not blended beforehand. The rice and veggie chunks are surprisingly unobtrusive.

    I feel adding mustard during preparation is important. I probably squirt in at least double the amount called for. Cheap yellow mustard is what you want; substituting Dijon did not make for a better gumbo burger.

    Good black pepper is important, and probably a little more than is called for. But remember this is Midwestern chow so don’t get carried away. Adding Tabasco or other hot sauce, even a small amount, is a mistake.

    My only embellishment is a splash of Worcestershire sauce during cooking. Again, not too much, but I miss it when it’s not there.

    As discussed above, cheap squishy buns are important. I like to garnish with those cheap, astringent dill pickle coins (which I don't care for otherwise). And of course you want a sprig of curly parsley. Flat leaf just won’t do.


    Image
    It’s been a while since I made a batch, but now I’m really jonesing for a gumbo burger.
  • Post #43 - March 19th, 2020, 6:25 pm
    Post #43 - March 19th, 2020, 6:25 pm Post #43 - March 19th, 2020, 6:25 pm
    I've never made any kind of sloppy joe but the Manwich kind, and the chicken gumbo version sounded pretty wierd to me when I read about it for the first time here, but now that I see a picture of it (thanks, Rene G), I could see trying that version.

    Looking for something else in my Better Homes & Garden cookbook (1989 edition), the sloppy joe recipe caught my eye. BH&G's sloppy joe is a tomato-based version with an interesting twist: quick-cooking rolled oats. A note says, "The rolled oats give the meat mixture just the right texture for clinging to the buns."

    This made me curious about other old cookbook recipes. Betty Crocker (1996): ketchup-based sauce. Joy of Cooking (1975): mushroom and chili sauce blend.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #44 - March 20th, 2020, 8:02 am
    Post #44 - March 20th, 2020, 8:02 am Post #44 - March 20th, 2020, 8:02 am
    Rene G-

    Now I'm jonesing for a gumbo burger. Thanks for sharing.
    -Mary
  • Post #45 - March 20th, 2020, 9:39 am
    Post #45 - March 20th, 2020, 9:39 am Post #45 - March 20th, 2020, 9:39 am
    eating while walking wrote:Looking for bbq beef sandwiches around town may be more fruitful.


    In my part of town (Southwest Side), at least, a "BBQ beef" is an Italian beef with barbecue sauce on it, so nomenclature will vary. I tend to think of "barbecues" or "barbecue beef" to refer to Sloppy Joes to be a more Wisconsin/Minnesota sort of thing, but that just may be confirmation bias from reading various old parish cookbooks from the area.
  • Post #46 - March 20th, 2020, 1:22 pm
    Post #46 - March 20th, 2020, 1:22 pm Post #46 - March 20th, 2020, 1:22 pm
    Binko wrote:
    eating while walking wrote:Looking for bbq beef sandwiches around town may be more fruitful.


    In my part of town (Southwest Side), at least, a "BBQ beef" is an Italian beef with barbecue sauce on it ...

    So, do you mean Italian beef with all the usual IB seasonings and then a dollop of BBQ sauce on top, or slow-cooked beef sliced or shredded and mixed with BBQ sauce?

    If it's the latter, it's roughly the same as what my mother (from downstate Illinois---specifically, an area where lots of Italian immigrants settled) called "barbecued beef"---beef chuck or round cooked in a Crock Pot until it could be shredded, then mixed with barbecue sauce, so a beef version of Carolina-style barbecued pork. I clearly remember it as something distinct from a ground beef-based sloppy joe mix.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #47 - March 20th, 2020, 1:33 pm
    Post #47 - March 20th, 2020, 1:33 pm Post #47 - March 20th, 2020, 1:33 pm
    Katie wrote:
    Binko wrote:
    eating while walking wrote:Looking for bbq beef sandwiches around town may be more fruitful.


    In my part of town (Southwest Side), at least, a "BBQ beef" is an Italian beef with barbecue sauce on it ...

    So, do you mean Italian beef with all the usual IB seasonings and then a dollop of BBQ sauce on top, or slow-cooked beef sliced or shredded and mixed with BBQ sauce?


    Yep, just regular Italian beef on your Turano/Gonella roll or whatnot, liberally doused in BBQ sauce. I could be wrong with how popular that is around here, but there's at least a few places that interpret it as that (my local Nicky's, on 46th and Pulaski, since at least the 80s.)
  • Post #48 - March 20th, 2020, 4:54 pm
    Post #48 - March 20th, 2020, 4:54 pm Post #48 - March 20th, 2020, 4:54 pm
    Binko wrote:
    Katie wrote:
    Binko wrote:
    eating while walking wrote:Looking for bbq beef sandwiches around town may be more fruitful.


    In my part of town (Southwest Side), at least, a "BBQ beef" is an Italian beef with barbecue sauce on it ...

    So, do you mean Italian beef with all the usual IB seasonings and then a dollop of BBQ sauce on top, or slow-cooked beef sliced or shredded and mixed with BBQ sauce?


    Yep, just regular Italian beef on your Turano/Gonella roll or whatnot, liberally doused in BBQ sauce. I could be wrong with how popular that is around here, but there's at least a few places that interpret it as that (my local Nicky's, on 46th and Pulaski, since at least the 80s.)



    I grew up a few miles south of there, but barbecue beef to me is the same as for Binko. Pop's was my childhood beef shack and they had one, as did other places around. You'd never get a sloppy joe asking for that, not in these parts.

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