Homemade Sloppy Joe’s

Do you ever only like something if made from a particular recipe? When it comes to certain food, that’s me, hands down. Sloppy Joe’s are a prime example. I have only ever liked my grandma’s recipe. My grandma was a farmer’s wife & her cooking was top notch. If she made something & it didn’t turn out as expected, she’d call it a flop while the rest of us gobbled it up. I was excited to learn my aunts had this recipe, like so many, they were lost when she passed.

Be forewarned, this recipe makes a lot of sauce. A lot! Keep this in mind & adjust accordingly or do as I did, make the whole thing as is, use what you need, & freeze (or can) the rest knowing a huge potluck is in your future.

Ingredients:

14 lbs. of beefsteak tomatoes

1 lb. of celery

4 cups diced onions

3 green peppers

1/4 cup salt

1/2 tbsp ground cloves

2 tbsp ground mustard

2 sticks cinnamon

1 2 lb bag of brown sugar

1 quart apple cider vinegar

Yields: 18 cups

Preparation:

Chop the celery, onions, & green peppers; set aside in a large bowl.

Scald & peel tomatoes. Fill a large stock pot with water & heat until boiling. Make an x on the underside of each tomato, place several tomatoes in boiling water for 45-60 seconds, or until skin of tomatoes start to peel back. Remove from boiling water & transfer to an ice bath for a few minutes. Peel skin & quarter each tomato. When finished with all tomatoes, drain stock pot of water, reduce heat to medium-high & cook for 20-25 minutes. Drain any liquid. Add chopped vegetables & salt to pot, stir, reduce heat & simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the brown sugar & apple cider vinegar. In the center of a cheesecloth or large tea towel, add the ground cloves, ground mustard, & cinnamon sticks. Tie up the cheesecloth/ tea towel & immerse into tomato mixture & simmer another 1 1/2 hours. Remove spices & freeze in 1 or 2 cup packages.

To make sloppy Joe’s, brown 1 or 2 lbs of hamburger meat. Drain grease & add 1 or 2 cups of sauce (1 cup per 1 lb of meat). Add 1-2 tbsp of mustard & ketchup, per liking.

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