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High-Octane Sloppy Joes Recipe


This is a recipe I’ve been meaning to write for a long time. I think it was worth the wait. These are best served in a bowl with a spoon.

Adapted from The NFL Gameday Cookbook, by Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 serrano, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed ½ teaspoon crushed fresh ginger
  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup prepared chili sauce
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 12 hamburger buns
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, chilies, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Meanwhile, heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the ground chuck. Brown the chuck, breaking it up with a spoon as much as possible while it cooks. When the meat is fully cooked, add the onion mixture, water, chili sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix well and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Place the bottoms of the buns in bowls, and divide the sloppy joe mixture evenly among the buns. Top with the shredded cheese. Replace the tops of the buns and serve with a spoon.