An old recipe from a church cookbook for Sloppy Joes for a crowd.
This is a great recipe to keep on hand in case you’ve invited 58 friends over for dinner, or if you’re the Osmonds and have 58 of your great grandchildren over for lunch (hey, I–am–not–making–that–up, it was on Oprah on Friday). Or if you’re empty nesters like us it will yield you 30 Sloppy Joes each.
When I decided to prepare this recipe, I wondered about the origin of the name “Sloppy Joe”, so I Googled “Where did the name Sloppy Joe come from” sure enough I was rewarded with answers:
One web site claims: The Original Sloppy Joe Sandwich was invented at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West. The original is still available and consists of ground beef in a sweet rich tomato sauce, with onions, peppers and spices. Hence the sandwich was named for the establishment, not the consistency, as suggested by the Manwich people.
(Ok now this really bothers me, what’s up with those Manwich “people” starting ugly rumors?)
Another web site suggests that it was named after a Green Bay Packer team member Joe Krzrwinski … aka “Sloppy”, a nickname given to him for his inconsistent play on the field. The first creation was made with ground sausage during 1930.
According to another story, the sandwich was named after the Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Havana, Cuba which was the first to serve a sandwich of this variety.
So depending on if you’re a Cheese Head, or a Parrot Head you’ve got your answer.
Even James Beard, the 20th Century Godfather of American cooking wrote about Sloppy Joes: “This is a product of the modern age, and though it is not a palate-tingling delight it has a large public.”
Perhaps Beard’s generous use of a 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce in his version of Sloppy Joes had something to do with his unenthusiastic view. Plus I think it’s a slap in the face to white-trash food. Just who does he think he is??? (Oh, that’s right, he’s the 20th century godfather of American Cooking.)
This recipe is from my church cookbook. The church that I attended when I was growing up in the middle of Kansas. You’ll find Sloppy Joes for 60 along with Baptist Punch for 100, which is an odd combination of ginger ale, Kool-Aid, Hawaiian Punch and 7-Up. I was surprised to see they didn’t add five cups of sugar, I wonder if it’s sweet enough. Do they even make Hawaiian Punch anymore? Church ladies often published these types of recipes serving large groups because of Church socials or Church suppers.
For tonight’s dinner we weren’t all that hungry, so I decided to scale the recipe down from 60 servings to 2. 😉 But below you’ll find the original recipe. I like the flavor of this, sweet/tangy. I served this along side Spaghetti Squash.
- Sloppy Joes for 60
- 6 lbs ground beef, extra lean
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups celery -- diced
- 2 cups onion -- diced
- ½ cup mustard
- ½ cup vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 bottles catsup
- 2 cups water
- Brown meat, celery and onion. Stir in flour slowly. Add remainder of the ingredients and simmer. If the mixture seems dry, or needs a little punch of flavor, I add a little bit of bottled bbq sauce.
Sloppy Joes…It’s What’s For Dinner