Do you have a favorite “food memory?”
Maybe of mom’s kitchen on a Saturday afternoon as your favorite stew simmered on the stovetop, its comforting aromas drifting through the house.
Or grandma’s crisp caramelized roast beef and potatoes sizzling in the oven, those unforgettable popovers not far behind.
We’ve got one too. Well, like you, we’ve got many, but one in particular is an absolute classic.
We’ve completely overhauled and updated it from the days of our youth, and it’s our pleasure to share our take on the immortal Sloppy Joe …
The Origin of the Sloppy Joe
Jose “Joe” Garcia Rio was aptly nicknamed the “sloppy” proprietor of a restaurant in Old Havana, Cuba.
His original bar dated back to 1933 and was frequented by a rumrunner named Habana Joe and a daiquiri drinking big game fisherman named Ernest Hemingway.
The latter, “Papa” is said to have been quite influential in coining the moniker “Sloppy Joe’s” for the namesake Key West Bar (rumor has it that we have a copy of Papa’s favorite Daiquiri recipe!).
Our version of the “Sloppy Joe” is much the same as everything we do at The Mill House Inn … it’s founded on caring, the art of listening, and paying careful attention to those answers.
Oddly enough, this sandwich traces its style all the way around the globe. From Italy to China to Cuba, and right back to hometown America.
We found its American roots in Pittsburg, Iowa, New Jersey, Old Havana … and the infamous Sloppy Joe’s in Key West!
The MHI Sloppy Joe
Just as those ancient roots were peppered with tendencies bordering on “food evolution & revolution,” we could not avoid challenging the old axiom that “too many cooks spoil the broth.”
Accordingly, everyone at Mill House Inn consulted our favorite food gurus, with a seriousness bordering on obsession.
Calls were made to Grandma, Mom, a favorite Aunt and a next-door neighbor; each had a twist on this American Classic. We certainly quizzed our Chef friends as to their beliefs on what makes the best Sloppy Joe.
Over the years, each of us that have manned the stoves at Mill House Inn have had an influence on The Mill House Inn Sloppy Joe:
- We lost the roll so the experience would be just a bit less “Sloppy”
- Goat cheese was added to cool down the spicy tomato
- Crispy leeks were added because the architect in us said make it taller with a crispy garnish
Then we went even further.
The development of this classic sandwich would be incomplete (bordering on irresponsible) without input from the experts: Our Guests! Over the years, we’ve listened intently and what follows are a handful of recent comments …
- “The Sloppy Joe Scramble is excellent! We can’t remember the last time we had a Sloppy Joe! We’ve been sitting here reminiscing about eating them as kids when we were growing up.”
- “Just make sure that you have plenty of chocolate chip cookies and your infamous Sloppy Joe for me in the morning and that will make my stay perfect!”
- “I will have the Sloppy Joe scramble a few times next week. It is my absolute favorite.”
- “I have been dreaming about the Sloppy Joe scramble for a week. It has lived up to what I remember.”
- “Wow!!! This Sloppy Joe is so good. It’s like dinner with breakfast peeking out.”
- “The story of the Sloppy Joe scramble has spread throughout The “XXXX” Restaurant Group like wildfire. Don’t be surprised if we steal it one day.”
OK, enough talk, let’s get right down to what matters … the recipe!
The MHI Sloppy Joe Recipe
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1 lb. fresh chorizo, removed from casing
- 2 lb. ground pork
- 3 lb. ground beef
- 2 large sweet onions, diced [Oso, Vidalia, Walla Walla, Maui]
- 3 tbs olive oil
- .25 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1.5 cup Sir Kensington ketchup
- .25 cup Sir Kensington yellow mustard
- 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbs brown sugar
- .5 tsp cayenne pepper
- Season with salt & pepper
To Finish & Plate
- 3 farm fresh eggs per person
- 1 tsp heavy cream
- 1 tbsp sweet butter
- 3 oz goat cheese
- Chopped chives and parsley
- Crisp fried julienne leeks
Cooking the Sloppy Joe
- Heat a heavy bottom pot on medium high, add olive oil and three meats,
brown thoroughly and adjust heat and stir as needed
- Remove browned meat and pour into a strainer, discard oil and reserve meat
- Return pot to medium high heat, add olive oil. Add onions and cook until
- Deglaze with red wine vinegar and beef broth, bring to a simmer
- Add ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, brown sugar and cayenne,
bring to simmer, reduce by half
- Add cooked meat and simmer on low until desired consistency is achieved
- Adjust seasoning, simmer 15 minutes and chill [keep refrigerated for 3 days,
frozen for 2-3 months
Getting hungry? The art of plating the Joe …
- Warm 8oz of Sloppy Joe per person
- Warm 1 crock or ramekin per person
- Crumble the goat cheese, toss with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper
- Scramble eggs with cream, chives, parsley, salt and pepper
- In your favorite egg pan, melt butter and scramble the eggs being careful not
- Assemble by alternating layers of scrambled egg, Sloppy Joe and goat cheese in the crocks
- Garnish with leeks, herbs and a final bit of goat cheese, there is never
And there it is (one more time, for good measure) …
Last thing: We recommend enjoying this masterpiece with some fresh, warm sourdough toast and a side of sautéed broccoli or spinach. Sounds amazing, right?
Food is about the love and the memories that we share. It’s just how we do it here in the Hamptons. Is there a Mill House Inn Sloppy Joe on the menu in your near future? We hope so. Call us or email us to schedule your stay.