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Sloppy Joe Restaurant Recipe

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“This is one of my most treasured recipes, it came from a friend who worked as a manager at a community restaurant years ago. The meat mixture is made from ground beef, onion, and ketchup, a bit of vinegar and sugar, and the secret ingredient being chili powder. Choose any type of bun you wish, then slap on some of this great tasting meat. This recipe serves 5 people with about 3/4 cup meat mixture per person. The recipe can easily be doubled.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 34 cup ketchup
  • 12-1 teaspoon salt (start with 1/2 tsp., then add more salt near end of cooking time, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard (Recipe called for Plochman's brand mild yellow mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (recipe called for ground round beef)
  • 1 medium white onion, diced 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch square
  • 5 hamburger buns (Use quality buns. Hoagie buns are delicious, just cut in half to equal 1 bun)


  1. In a small mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the ketchup, salt, vinegar, sugar, mustard, and chili powder; mix well and set aside.
  2. In a large frying pan or skillet, brown the ground beef and onions over medium-high heat until the beef no longer shows any visible signs of raw meat, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it is being cooked. Reduce the heat to low.
  3. Drain as much fat from the meat as possible by simply tilting the pan and letting the fat pool at the bottom. Spoon the fat into an empty tin can and discard. Extra fat may be removed by pressing a double layer of plain, white paper toweling against the meat.
  4. Add the ketchup mixture to the cooked ground beef and onions; mix to combine.
  5. Cook the ground beef and sauce mixture on low and simmer, uncovered, until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom.
  6. YIELD: This recipe serves 5 people with about 3/4 cup meat mixture per person.

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