Sloppy joes. These messy sandwiches have been a staple of school lunchrooms and family dinner tables since at least the 1940s. Always easy to make, the sloppy joe sandwich gets an even easier upgrade when you add Coca-Cola to the mix. The next time you need a crowd-pleasing, fill-your-belly meal, look no further than these Coca-Cola Sloppy Joes.
- 1½ lbs ground beef (85%)
- ½ green pepper, chopped fine
- ½ white onion, chopped fine
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup Coca-Cola
- 2 tbls tomato paste
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tbls Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbls vegetable oil
- ½ tsp salt
- hamburger buns
- 12” non-stick pan
- wooden spoon
Heat the vegetable oil in the 12” non-stick pan over medium heat until the oil shimmers.
Add the onion, green pepper, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes. Cooking the onion and pepper until just translucent will give your sandwiches a slightly brighter flavor. If you wait until the vegetables have just started browning, the flavor will be deeper.
Add the garlic. Stir constantly as you cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to scorch the garlic, which will make it bitter.
Add the tomato paste. Stirring constantly, cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the ground beef. Break up clumps of beef. As the beef cooks, use the back of the wooden spoon to gently mash the mixture. This step will create a slightly finer texture that will hold together more readily on the bun. Allow to cook for 5 minutes or until the beef is no longer pink.
Add the Coca-Cola, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and red pepper flakes. If you want a spicier kick to your sloppy joes, add more red pepper or a splash of Tabasco. Mix well and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened to your liking. The thickening process may take several minutes.
Spoon the meat mixture onto buns and serve with your favorite childhood side items. Obviously, Coke will be the drink of choice. Enjoy.