Sloppy Joes: ‘Cues for a Crowd

Do you like cooking for a crowd?

I do. And that’s exactly what I’m about to get to work on in just a few minutes.

Each spring for about the past 15 years or so, we’ve been making a batch of homemade barbecues for a 100 or so people who belong to a group that Therese and I support. The recipe I use is tried and true. I call it Auntie Helen’s Barbecues, because it was given to me by my late aunt, Helen Tiedeman, who was the head cook at our Catholic school when I was growing up.

The barbecues were a hot lunch favorite of all the kids. Over the years, I’ve shared the recipe with friends, relatives and Herald readers. No one has been disappointed.

While Auntie Helen’s Barbecues are great, I realize there are a lot of other barbecue or “Sloppy Joe” recipes out there that are pretty good. I can think of a couple right off the top of my head. The Sloppy Joes that are served at The Kegs drive-in in Grand Forks have a lot of fans, and I’m one of them. Also, one of my friends has his mom’s recipe that contains chicken gumbo soup, which ranks right up there, too.

While I don’t have those two aforementioned recipes, here is my aunt’s along with another that was shared with me recently that looks pretty tasty.

Sloppy Joes
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
½ red or green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
½ cup each: ketchup, water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 kaiser rolls, toasted
Heat oil in medium skillet.
Add onion and pepper; cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.
Add beef; cook, breaking up pieces, until browned and crumbled, 4 minutes.
Mix in ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste; simmer until flavors are blended, 15 minutes. Serve on rolls.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 415 calories, 31 percent of calories from fat, 14 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 69 milligrams cholesterol, 42 grams carbohydrates, 28 grams protein, 1,087 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Auntie Helen’s Barbecues
6 pounds of ground beef
1 package flaked onions
1 25 ounce-can cream of mushroom soup
½ gallon of ketchup
½ stalk of celery, diced, precooked
2 tablespoons mustard
¼ cup of vinegar
Barbecue spice, to taste
½ cup of brown sugar
Mix all of ingredients and cook for about 2 hours
Yield: Serves 50.

One thought on “Sloppy Joes: ‘Cues for a Crowd

  1. Jeff, another trick I use often for spreading BBQs out for large crowds is to add in some cooked brown rice. Helps it go a little farther. The kids always love it!
    Thanks for the recipes!

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