Friday, May 7, 2010

My Mother-in-Law's Sloppy Joes

My mother-in-law, Joyce, and family. Can you spot Mr. Wonderful?

I usually try to choose a recipe that I've recently made, so here's one I made for lunch earlier in the week. My mother-in-law gave me this recipe shortly after we were married. I have altered it slightly (so what else is new), but to quote Mr. Wonderful, "This really is the best Sloppy Joe I've ever had." And he's not one to exaggerate.

My Mother-in-Law's Sloppy Joes

What you will need:

2 pounds ground chuck or hamburger meat
1 medium-sized sweet onion, chopped
1 can of Campbell's Tomato Soup (concentrate)
2 (12 oz.) jars Heinz Chili Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large non-stick skillet, crumble ground chuck along with chopped onions; cook on medium-high heat; salt and pepper to taste, stirring often until ground chuck is thoroughly cooked and the onions are mostly clear. Turn off heat.

Pause here...

I don't know about you, but I've tried just about everything in order to drain grease off of cooked hamburger meat. It usually ends up making a huge mess either on my counter top, the sink, or in the trash can. I've tried pouring it into an old disposable container and I've tried lining a coffee mug with foil, pouring it in and then refrigerating it with hopes I remember to throw it away. Well, here's a little trick my father told me to try several years ago. It works great and there's absolutely no mess to clean-up.

MAKE SURE THE HEAT IS TURNED OFF. Tilt the skillet pan on the stove (lean it on a burner if you use a gas stove) in such a way that the grease collects on one side. Use a spoon or spatula to carefully push the hamburger meat to the high side, leaving half of the skillet empty except for the grease. Let the meat drain for a minute. Take four or five paper towels and fold them over several times so you end up with a rectangular pad. Using the spoon, press the paper towels into the grease. After the grease has soaked-up into the paper towels, use the spoon or a set of tongs to remove and place directly in the trash can. If there is still grease left in the skillet, use another couple of paper towels and repeat. This really only takes a couple of minutes. It's quick, easy, and there's no mess whatsoever!

OK...back to the recipe.

Turn the heat back on medium-low and add the can of tomato soup along with two jars of Heinz Chili Sauce. Stir until thoroughly mixed together and small bubbles begin to form. Turn heat to low and let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often.

Serve on fresh hamburger buns.



  1. My guess is that Mr. W is the wee one in his father's arms. I first wanted to say the young man standing on the right in front of his father, but I don't think Mr. W is the oldest and these two sons are the only ones with the same jaw line. . . but I could be wrong :D Thanks for the recipe - my guys will be thrilled to have a new recipe :D

  2. As always...I just love it!! BTW...I'm anxious to make my own judgment as to whether the altered recipe is "more better"...grin! (just clownin', again).