Everybody loves sloppy Joes! But have you tried lamb sloppy joes? Well, you’re in for a treat!
Big, messy and utterly marvelous, these sloppy Joes are the height of good ol’ comfort food. They’re a cinch to make, only use a few simple ingredients and will be ready in a matter of minutes.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s make some sloppy Joes!
Products you need for this recipe
- Large frying pan – a big quality frying pan is essential in this recipe. You’ll need it to fry up the delicious lamb for your sloppy Joe
- Wooden spoon – you’ll need a trusty wooden spoon to break up the ground lamb in the pan and give everything a good stir
- Chopped tomatoes – chopped tomatoes will make a tomato sauce and bring an extra hit of richness to the lamb, as well as some acidity. They also bring the ‘sloppy!’ You could also use tomato paste
- Lamb stock cubes – you’ll need some richness to give your sloppy Joe a real depth of flavor. That’s where lamb stock comes in
- Dried mixed herbs – herbs will bring some earthy flavor to your sloppy Joe
- Worcestershire sauce – the secret ingredient! When it comes to adding flavor to meat sauce, nothing works what as well as the old British favorite, Worcestershire sauce
- Dijon mustard – a little bit of Dijon mustard goes a long way
- Brown sugar – you can also use some brown sugar if you prefer a subtle sweetness to your sloppy Joe
What are sloppy Joes?
A Sloppy Joe is the big, sloppy, sumptuous king of American comfort food. It’s a messy masterpiece of quickfire food, made to put a big smile on your face.
If elegant fine dining is your thing and the idea of a spilling sauce all over the place is your worst nightmare, this probably isn’t for you.
However, if you love the rough and ready charm of messy, tasty food, this homemade classic will be right up your street.
Normally, ground beef is the meat of choice. My recipe puts a twist on things though.
Ground lamb gives the sloppy joe a whole new level of deliciousness in my view. It’s got a deeper, more savory taste. Especially with the other ingredients in this recipe.
How do you make a sloppy joe?
First, the onions and garlic are fried on a medium high heat. Add the lamb and cook, stirring all the time and breaking up the ground lamb. Fry for around 3 minutes.
Add the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chopped tomatoes and stock. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. The sauce should be nice and thick.
Spoon your sloppy lamb sauce into a burger bun and… voilà! You have an irresistible, homemade sloppy joe!
Who invented sloppy Joes and why are they called that?
Legend has it that they originated at Floyd Angell’s café in Sioux City, Iowa, way back in the 1930s. A cook named Joe would serve up loose meat sandwiches, together with a rich tomato sauce.
Word soon got around and the meat and tomato sauce sandwiches became more and more popular as the decade went on.
By the 1940s, the term ‘sloppy joe’ had stuck. The humble cook had created a sensation that would be written into the American cookbooks.
Are sloppy Joes healthy?
While a sloppy Joe is normally made from ground beef, mine are made from ground lamb. As they’re homemade, they’re a lot healthier than any store bought comfort food.
Lamb has many health benefits. Firstly, it’s a great source of quality protein. It’s also packed full of many essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc and vitamin B12 – all crucial for a healthy immune system.
For an extra healthy sloppy joe, use quality lean lamb mince and wholewheat buns.
Can you keep sloppy joes in the fridge?
Cooked lamb mince can be kept in an airtight container for 3–4 days. When you’re ready to assemble your sloppy joe, reheat the meat sauce in the pan for 10 minutes before serving on your toasted bun.
Can sloppy joes be frozen?
If you want to freeze the meat sauce to make a sloppy Joe later, first be sure it has cooled completely in the fridge. Then spoon it into an airtight freezable container. You can freeze it for up to 6 months.
What can I substitute for Worcestershire sauce?
If you can’t find any of this magical stuff, there are a few options. Check out my Worcestershire sauce substitute guide.
What can I add to lamb sloppy Joes for extra flavor?
Ground spices like ground cumin will add another dimension of flavor to this recipe. You could also use a touch of curry powder, coriander or mint, as these all go well with the taste of lamb.
This recipe calls for dried mixed herbs, but you could always use fresh herbs. Try throwing some fresh rosemary or oregano in. It’ll taste fantastic!
What do you eat with sloppy Joes?
Looking for something to serve alongside this delicious recipe? Here are some suggestions:
Parmesan crisps – these are no ordinary crisps! If you’ve never made parmesan crisps before, you have to try them! A deep, rich flavor makes this little crisps extra special
Salt and chili chips – these chips pack a punch and would go well as a sloppy Joe side
Salad olivieh – a twist on the traditional potato salad, this is rich and creamy with mountains of flavor. It’ll pair perfectly with a delicious sloppy Joe
Rocket salad with avocado, blue cheese and pecans – this is one helluva salad! So simple to make, yet try it once and you’ll be hooked. There’s so much flavor packed into one salad and it’ll taste fantastic when paired with a big meaty sandwich like this one
Baked sweet potato fries – healthy, crispy, crunchy and utterly delicious, this is one recipe you don’t want to miss. These fries are the perfect side for a dish like sloppy joes
Pear and rocket salad – if you prefer a lighter salad, this one is perfect. It doesn’t lack in flavor though and would complement the flavors in your sloppy joe perfectly
Tobacco onions – you’ve got to try this smokin’ side! It’s really easy to make and would be perfect to the side of or even on top off, a sloppy Joe
More amazing lamb recipes
- Lamb leg steak – fast cooking doesn’t get better than this! Cook up these sensational steaks in less than 20 minutes for a quick and easy Sunday lunch
- Indian leg of lamb – if you’ve never had Indian leg of lamb, you’re in for a treat. It’s a spicy slow-cooked masterpiece!
- Lamb massaman curry – a heavenly Thai curry that’s hearty and intensely flavored, yet mildly spiced with cumin, bay leaves, star anise and nutmeg.
- Lamb shish kebab – for those who doubt you can have a healthy kebab, here’s your proof. The perfect demonstration of healthy fast food with big flavors. Best of all, it’s really quick to prepare.
- Slow cooker lamb shanks – this lamb steaks recipe is the ultimate Sunday lunch comfort food!
- Smoked leg of lamb – just one mouthful of this amazing recipe will be enough to have you hooked. When it comes to taste, smoked meat is in a different league and this is the perfect smoked lamb recipe for smoking newbies and experts alike.
- Lamb noisettes with rosemary sauce – when it comes to flavor pairings, few things go together like lamb and rosemary. Lamb noisettes are similar to lamb steaks, and this simple recipe is beautiful, elegant, full of flavor and very easy to make.
- Lamb sandwich with avocado and jam – if you have lamb leftovers, this is the recipe for you!
- Lamb jalfrezi – traditional curry recipes like lamb jalfrezi are the perfect way to use up leftover lamb
- Lamb pasanda – creamy and delicious, this curry can be made with leftover lamb
- 7 hour slow-roast shoulder of lamb – a slow cooked masterpiece that’ll linger long in the memory
- Lamb dopiaza – a hearty stew-like curry that’s super comforting, the lamb is simmered in until tender
- Honey glazed rack of lamb – you’ll be surprised how something so simple can taste so good!
- Lamb shish kebab – can you believe that you can make a healthy kebab? Here’s the proof. The whole family will love these quick and easy, incredibly tasty kebabs
- Lamb massaman curry – Have you ever made a massaman curry? If not, this succulent Thai curry is soon to become a firm favourite of yours!
Lamb Sloppy Joes is an American recipe loved by all. The ground lamb puts a new twist on this classic comfort food and it’s still served in a bun as usual.
- 15ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1kg (2.2lbs) lamb mince
- 2 x 400g (14.5oz) tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 x lamb stock pots / cubes
- 3g (1 tbsp) dried mixed herbs
- 30ml (2 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce
- 30ml (2 tbsp) Dijon mustard
- 12g (1 tbsp) brown sugar [optional]
- 4 hamburger buns, toasted
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
- Gently fry the onions and garlic until softened and translucent, which should take about 5 minutes.
- Turn up the heat and add the mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
- Fry until golden brown and drain the excess fat if there is any.
- Add the herbs, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and brown sugar to the meat and give it a good stir.
- Lower the heat until a consistent simmering point is reached and cook for about 20 minutes until the sauce is reduced and the meat is cooked through and tender.
- Serve in burger buns with salad and chips. Enjoy!
- Feel free to experiment with different meat. Beef will definitely work!
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Pan Fry
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: lamb sloppy joes, sloppy Joe recipe, ground lamb recipe, how to make sloppy joes, what to serve with sloppy joes