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How to make a gourmet Sloppy Joseph: A step-by-step guide

Sloppy Joes are a classic American dish that many of us grew up eating, but let’s be honest, the canned stuff isn’t exactly gourmet cuisine.

In this article, we’ll show you how to make a more delicious, balanced, and slightly fancier version of the classic dish that we’re calling Sloppy Joseph.


How To Make Grown-Up Sloppy Joes

Step 1: Cook the beef thoroughly

To start, we’ll need one pound of ground beef. It’s best to use 80/20 meat because leaner meat won’t be unctuous enough.

Add one gram or a quarter teaspoon of baking soda to the meat to help inhibit the beef proteins from bonding together while they cook, making the beef nice and tender.

Step 2: Dice the veggies

While the meat sits, dice one onion and one poblano pepper. The onion should be a small dice, and the poblano pepper should be a pretty small dice too.

Use a large non-stick pan and heat it over medium-high heat. Add a good long squeezer of olive oil, then add in the onions and poblanos with a strong pinch of salt.

Fry these together for three to four minutes until softened up and starting to take on some color.

Step 3: Cook the beef and veggies

Add the ground beef to the pan with the onions and poblanos. Use a ground meat musher to spread it out and break it down into very small particles.

Continue to smush this meat for two to three minutes or however long it takes to break it down into very small particles.


After about four minutes, the meat is starting to take on some nice browning, it’s cooked through, and most importantly, it’s crumbled down into an edible size.

Step 4: Add seasoning and spices

Add five grams of salt, five grams of onion powder, five grams of garlic powder, two grams of black pepper, five grams of paprika, and then a strong pinch of chili flakes to the beef and veggies.

Give it a toss to combine, and then fry the spices with the meat and veggies to open up their flavors. That’ll take about 30 seconds or so.

Then, add in 10 grams of all-purpose flour, which will help thicken the sauce a little bit and also help emulsify the beef fat later on.

Step 5: Add wet ingredients

Add 50 grams of tomato paste, 50 grams of ketchup, 15 grams of yellow mustard, and 15 grams of brown sugar to the pan. Give it a good stir to combine everything.

Let the mixture cook for a few minutes until it thickens up nicely.

Step 6: Serve and enjoy

Now it’s time to serve your gourmet Sloppy Joseph. Toast a hamburger bun, spoon the beef mixture onto the bottom half, and then add some sliced pickles on top.

Add the top half of the bun, and your Sloppy Joseph is ready to be enjoyed!

In conclusion, Sloppy Joseph is a more delicious, balanced, and slightly fancier version of the classic Sloppy Joes.

By using fresh ingredients, adding spices and seasoning, and cooking the beef and veggies to perfection, you can make a gourmet version of this classic dish.

So, try out this recipe and enjoy a more elevated version of the classic Sloppy Joes!

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Grown Up Sloppy Joes

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  • Author: Howard Land
  • Total Time: 35 minutes


Upgrade your Sloppy Joes with this gourmet Sloppy Joseph recipe! Using fresh ingredients and a combination of spices and seasonings, this elevated version of the classic dish is more delicious, balanced, and slightly fancier. Cook the beef and veggies to perfection, add wet ingredients and serve on toasted buns with sliced pickles. Enjoy a more elevated and satisfying version of the classic Sloppy Joes with this recipe!


  • 1 pound ground beef (preferably 80/20)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 150g onion, diced
  • 100g poblano pepper, diced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 5g onion powder
  • 5g garlic powder
  • 2g black pepper
  • 5g paprika
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • 10g all-purpose flour
  • 50g tomato paste
  • 50g ketchup
  • 15g yellow mustard
  • 15g brown sugar
  • 60ml beef stock


  1. In a bowl, add the ground beef and baking soda. Mix well and let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. In a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat, add a good amount of olive oil.
  3. Add the diced onion and poblano pepper, along with a pinch of salt. Fry for 3-4 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
  4. Add the ground beef to the pan and break it down with a ground meat musher. Continue cooking and stirring for 2-3 minutes until the beef is crumbled and starting to brown.
  5. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, and chili flakes to the pan. Mix well and fry for 30 seconds to release the flavors.
  6. Add the all-purpose flour and stir it in. Cook for a minute or so until the raw flavor is cooked off.
  7. Add the tomato paste, ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar, and beef stock to the pan. Mix everything well and bring to a simmer.
  8. Reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the flavors have melded together.
  9. Serve the Sloppy Josephs on buns with your favorite toppings.
  10. Enjoy your upgraded, delicious, and balanced Sloppy Josephs!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes

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