For many Americans, all sloppy joes come from the same place… The Manwich can. And for years, I followed the same path. And as I made the transition to real food, the ‘ol Manwich can was one of the first things to go.
And to my surprise, my homemade version was substantially better! (As many homemade foods are.) However, there were still quite a few ingredients in the recipe that I was trying to phase out… So, I continued to make adjustments.
The recipe called for condensed tomato soup and ketchup as the base. But both of these products are laden with sugar and artificial ingredients. My swap? Plain old tomato sauce.
Now I have quite the sweet tooth, so it’s been a challenge to cut out sugar all together. But I was able to cut back the brown sugar to about 2 tablespoons as opposed to the nearly 1/2 cup called for in my old recipe.
Let’s see… Now we have a slightly sweet tomato sauce with meat. So, what takes this to the sloppy joe level? Worcestershire sauce. Nothing can replace the rich flavor of Worcestershire sauce. It just makes beef taste beefier.
So, that’s about it. Four ingredients, 20 minutes, and dinner’s ready…
1lb ground beef, browned and drained
16oz tomato sauce
3T Worcestershire sauce
2T brown sugar (or less if you aren’t quite as addicted as I am.)
*optional: diced vegetables such as onion, bell pepper, or carrots.
SAUTE ground beef until brown and drain grease. Add veg, if desired, and cook until softened. Add remaining ingredients and simmer about 10-15 minutes.