How to Make a Sloppy Joe

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The secret to making a delicious sloppy Joe rests within a few key areas of your preparation process. Make a sloppy Joe with help from a longtime personal chef in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Fun With Food
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Video Transcript

Hey, I'm chef Plum with, and this is how you make sloppy Joe from scratch. All right. So to start our sloppy Joe it's really simple. The first thing we have to do is cut up a red bell pepper. Now when you cut the pepper the quickest way to do it that I find is go around the sides just like this. Once you get it cut, put it aside. Don't be cheap. Take out the gills in the middle, the ribs, excuse me. They don't taste good. No one wants to taste that. No one wants to taste these, so we take them out just like this. You see the white part, you cut it out. Pretty simple. So we take, them, move your trash to the side. Put your peppers together, and we're just going to rough dice it up. Now don't cut your finger off because it's a red bell pepper and you'd never know where your finger went, because it would all be red. Put them all together, just rough dice it just like this. It's very important that you throw it off your cutting board too, it's an extremely important thing to do. So once we got the pepper cut we're going to put it over here on to our plate. I like to have everything done ahead of time and ready to go before I start doing any actual cooking. It makes life a lot easier. When you dice an onion one of the simplest things to do is run your knife through the side like this a couple of times, just like this, then come down, just like this. Now we're going to use almost half an onion. It ends up being roughly about a cup, maybe a three quarters of a cup, just like that. Now after I cut it and put it all together I usually run my knife through it a couple more times just to make sure. And there we go. And we'll put this right on top of our peppers as well. All right one of the things to remember when you make sloppy Joes, it's basically barbequed beef is the best way to think about it. And when I like to do it I use a mixture of ground pork and ground beef. It's 80 percent lean, 20 percent fat. You can get this pretty much in any grocery store. They call it a meatball mix and sometimes they call it meatloaf mix. Just using the ground beef is fine, however when you mix it up pork tastes good. Who doesn't like pork? So we're going to make our sauce now for our sloppy Joe. Now basically a sauce for a sloppy Joe is essentially a barbeque sauce. I like to make mine a little sweet and spicy. So the best way to start that is about a cup of ketchup right into a separate bowl. Now you're going to mix all these things together at the same time. It doesn't matter. You don't have to put the dry in first. And that was a quarter cup of brown sugar, sorry. This is a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar. This is a teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of chili powder right there, just like that. Now we're also going to add a teaspoon of hot sauce. Who doesn't like hot sauce? OK. So maybe it was a little bit more than a teaspoon. Just give it a couple of shakes. And a little bit of stone ground mustard, about a teaspoon of that. We're going to whip it all together. I didn't add salt and pepper to this right away because we're going to do that at the end. We want to make sure that everything is nice and seasoned at the end. The tough part when you make a sauce like this is if you start putting too much salt in it now, you can never tell if it's too much later. All right. There we go, nice and mixed together. Looks great. Let's add it to our ground beef. So we're going to add a little bit of olive oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. It's probably going to be about a half a tablespoon or so. Make sure to get it nice and hot. You can tell when it's ready because you see little tiny wisps of smoke coming off the top. We'll give that a second. I can see the smoke already so we're going to drop in our ground beef. Ah, the sound of sizzling. So what we've done here is we had our hot pan on our saute station or our burner, and we took our ground beef and put it in the hot pan with a little bit of olive oil, about a teaspoon or so of olive oil to make sure it's nice and hot. Our ground beef, again as just a reminder is a one pound. It's a half a pound of ground pork and half a pound of ground chuck. We use both, the pork tastes delicious. So we're going to try and break it up a little bit as we saute, moving things around getting things nice and coated. We don't want to have big pieces. Big pieces don't make good sloppy Joe because then it's more like eating a cheeseburger with sauce all over it. So we're going to break it up a little bit. Now you can see how it's starting to brown up some. That's the time we want to add in our peppers and our onions that we diced. So we're going to put that right in there just like that. And we're going to let that saute until it's a little translucent, mixing it all nice in there, just like that. Again, we're not going to season until the end because we're just not sure how everything's going to match together. You're going to want to put salt in but hold off, don't do it. So we're going to give it a nice stir. You can see the onions are becoming translucent and the peppers are getting cooked. We want to make sure all the two beefs are nice and mixed together. And we look good. So now we're going to take our sauce. This is our barbeque sauce that we made or our sloppy Joe sauce and just put that right in there, just like that. Now once it's in, mix it around and everything. And you may need to add a touch of water to it. It's not going to hurt it. Because the water will evaporate off of it. It's called reduction. What happens is it's when the water turns to vapor and goes away. And this might need a touch of water, now much. So let's add a little bit. That was probably a tablespoon and a half. Mix it all in. Once this is nice and mixed together we're going to let it simmer for about ten minutes or so, uncovered on low heat. It's very important. You don't want it rolling on high heat, because you'll lose all your sauce. All right. Let's let that simmer and become a happy sloppy Joe. All right, guys. I've pulled out sloppy Joe off of the stove top and brought it over here. We're going to test the seasoning on it a little bit just to make sure. You don't want to feed food to people you haven't tasted yourself, right? That's all right, it could use a pinch of salt. So I'm going to take a pinch of salt and put it in there. I'm going to give it a little sprinkle of black pepper. Mix it around a little bit here, a new spoon and see where we are. That's good. Now we're ready to plate. So we take a spoonful of it in our nice little simple hamburger bun here, we're going to add out sloppy Joe to it here. And don't be too worried about being sloppy. It is sloppy Joe. Now you're ready for your friends to come over for Monday night football. I'm chef Plum from Plum Luv Foods. That's how you make sloppy Joe from scratch.


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