Friday, September 21, 2012

Crockpot Sloppy Joes

Years ago, a group of us were talking about the best gifts we'd ever received.  I was surprised when one of my friends said that one of the best gifts she'd ever received was a sloppy joe dinner.  She'd just had her 5th baby and was exhausted.  She came home one day to find on her porch a quart bottle of sloppy joe, a package of buns, a bag of chips, a ziplock bag full of carrot and celery sticks, a bottle of ranch dressing and a plate of brownies.  She nearly cried with relief at having a great meal all ready that the kids would eat!
So through the years since then, I've copied that idea and made that meal for families welcoming  a new baby.   I put a quart of the mixture in a quart jar for them, freeze another quart jar (for a busy day)  and we eat the rest.  I've made this recipe many times for large family gatherings, too, as it makes a large amount.   For really large crowds, double it and do it in a roaster oven.  It's so yummy after cooking all day.  This recipe makes about three quarts of sloppy joe mix.

Sloppy Joes
3- 3 1/2 lbs. very lean hamburger
2 onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (opt.)
1 -2 T. Montreal Steak Seasoning (or you can just use salt and pepper)
3 cans diced or crushed tomatoes (or a mixture is nice)
1 bottle barbecue sauce, your favorite brand  (I like Sweet Baby Ray's)
1/3 cup brown sugar (maybe more)
2 tsps. worcestershire sauce
a splash of Tabasco Sauce (optional and to taste)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Sprinkle the meat with the steak seasoning and work it in with your hands.  In a large skillet, cook the hamburger with the onion.  Drain if needed.  Add the other ingredients.  Put into a Crock pot and cook on low for several hours until sloppy joe consistency.  Taste and add more sugar if needed and more  salt and pepper, if needed.   Serve over toasted buns with dill pickle and sliced tomato on top.

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