The Sloppy Joe is a classic retro sandwich that graced many mid-century menus. If you grew up in the Midwest you might have called it a loose meat or tavern sandwich but regardless of the name, the Sloppy Joe has been a favorite for years. Its origin is somewhere between Sioux City, Iowa and Havana, Cuba with a variety of restaurants and chefs taking credit for its creation.
As a kid, I played the trombone and the Sloppy Joe Band Fundraisers was an annual event that kept our horns blowing. Today, just one bite of this iconic sandwich brings back a flood of childhood memories.
My Sloppy Joe is spicy and sweet at the same time. I love adding root beer, with its peppery notes, as it truly deepens its taste. And slow roasting in a Crock-Pot adds to the flavor and it’s a great way to serve it for an informal party or gathering!
Slow Cooker Root Beer Sloppy Joes
Makes 8 to 10 generous sandwiches
2.5 lb. ground beef
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 cups of yellow onion, diced fine
3 tablespoons olive oil
20 oz. ketchup
12 oz. tomato paste
3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
16.9 oz. artisan root beer
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
? teaspoon pepper
In a large frying pan, sauté the garlic, and onion in the olive oil until transparent. Transfer into the Crock-Pot. Using the same frying pan, sauté the ground beef until cooked through and well browned. As the beef cooks, with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula, break the ground beef into small bits. Drain off liquid and discard. Add the ground beef to the Crock-Pot and add all other ingredients. Mix well and heat 4 hours on medium high, stirring often.
Serve on hamburger buns or hard rolls. Then call me and I’ll be right over!