Sloppy Joes

  • Serves

    serves 6


A version of this recipe was published in My Best Meat Recipes (National Live Stock and Meat Board, 1945) under the title "Barbecued Ground Beef". Scanning the ingredients list, we immediately recognized it as a recipe for sloppy joes.


  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 12 tsp. ground cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Hamburger buns


Step 1

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and cook until softened, about 15 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned, 6–8 minutes. Add ketchup, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and cloves.

Step 2

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and dark, 25–30 minutes. (Degrease, if desired.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on buttered, toasted hamburger buns.

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