Sloppy Joes are an American classic. They are an easy to cook weeknight meal. While I love the original, Fun Diego Family tends to crave savory food. This is my recipe for Savory Sloppy Joes.
These Savory Sloppy Joes can be done either in a pressure cooker or on the skillet. I feel the pressure cooker intensifies the flavor. Howeer, it doesn’t necessarily make this recipe any easier or shorter to prepare.
In terms of making these savory, I add bacon, liquid smoke, chili powder (see our recipe), Carolina BBQ vinegar sauce (see our recipe) and my favorite non-Carolina BBQ sauce from Phil’s (I am not a big fan of most BBQ sauces).
See our recipe for Carolina vinegar sauce. It is super easy to make but if you don’t want to make it simply add 3 tablespoons of vinegar and a teaspoon of red pepper or hot sauce instead.
These Savory Sloppy Joes are not overwhelmingly hot. They should have just a hint of heat to them. Our kids have been able to handle them since about the age of 8. One thing we have learned to do is grind the vegetables in the food processor so they don’t complain about the large chunks. Luckily they are fine with red peppers so I cut those the regular way.
Note: I have added as much as 2 tablespoons liquid smoke without an issue. It is personal preference. Instead of Carolina BBQ vinegar sauce you can use 3 tablespoons cider vinegar and a teaspoon of red pepper or hot sauce. Green pepper can be substituted for red pepper.
Savory Sloppy Joes
- 2 pounds lean ground beef or ground meat blend
- 2 strips of bacon
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 1 medium carrot peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1 sweet red bell pepper seeded, stemmed, and chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoon Carolina BBQ vinegar sauce or hot sauce plus cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce preferably Phil’s BBQ
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon corn starch optional
- 5 rolls
Cook bacon in microwave or skillet and crumble into bits
Puree onion, celery, garlic and carrot in food processor. Add to meat and red pepper in skillet or pressure cooker and brown meat.
Add bacon, liquid smoke, salt, pepper and chili powder, barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, hot sauce (or vinegar) and Worcestershire. Let it simmer about 15 minutes to desired thickness. Toast buns. Add seasoning if needed and serve.
To thicken mix equal parts corn starch and water and add to mixture before serving
To do in a pressure cooker simply cook on high pressure for 10 minutes and let it natural release for 10 minutes.
I have added as much as 2 tablespoons liquid smoke without an issue. It is personal preference.
Instead of Carolina BBQ vinegar sauce you can use 3 tablespoons cider vinegar and a teaspoon of red pepper or hot sauce.
Green pepper can be substituted for red pepper.