Most sloppy Joe sandwich recipes contain a mixture of ground beef, tomato sauce, onion and selected spices, served hot on a hamburger bun and are hard to eat without slopping something on the table or yourself.
Some food historians believe it evolved from loose meat sandwiches served in Iowa by Floyd Angell, founder of Maid-Rite Restaurants in 1926. Whatever the origin, the Great Depression helped propel this economical way to stretch meat, and by the late 1940s the sloppy joe was a staple in kitchens throughout the United States.
For this recipe, I make a Mexican version of the sloppy joe that I call the sloppy josé. It features jalapeño, chili sauce, chili powder, cumin and is as tasty and sloppy as the American version. I recommend wearing a bib while eating it.
In all the years I have been cooking I had never made a batch of sloppy joe. I decided to make this recipe with a Mexican twist but that is just one direction it can be taken, I think you could make an Italian version and maybe even an Asian inspired version.
In the introduction, I touch on the history of the sandwich, my hunch is that it may have originated when someone ran out of pasta after making a pot of bolognese and decided to through it on a bun instead.
One thing is for sure about this sandwich - it is sloppy. I think that's why they are popular at outdoor events. The yard is the only place they should be eaten. I literally ate two of these over the waste basket in my kitchen. That’s when the name really sunk in. There really isn’t a need to explain how the sandwich got it. All you have to do is eat one and the reason why it’s called “sloppy” is apparent. Feed these to a group of toddlers and you’ll need a power washer to clean up the mess. If the sandwich was named after an actual person named Joe, he must have been the messiest human to have ever lived.
Eat well, cook often ...