Homemade Sloppy Joes made with red peppers, ground beef and onions cooked in a rich tomato sauce then served on a toasty bun … the perfect camping food!
Happy Labor Day! We just returned from a trip to the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia where we camped and hiked and cooked and ate, and cooked and ate, and slept and had a wonderful visit with my brother David visiting from Atlanta. We have a pop-up camper and two crazy dogs and look forward to unplugging from time to time. On this trip I made several one-pot meals and wanted to share this wonderful Sloppy Joe recipe. Sloppy Joe’s are an American creation dating back to the 1940’s. I remember enjoying them as a child when my mom would use seasoning packages from McCormick. Just add water and ground beef and dinner was ready.
This recipe took a little more effort – but not much. Brown the ground sirloin in a little oil in a large pot. Add chopped onions, red peppers, tomato sauce and paste and a variety of spices and vinegar. Simmer until thick and tender and serve over toasted buns.
I like to use a fork because my Sloppy Joe is pretty sloppy!
My brother David asked what the difference was between canned and homemade Sloppy Joe’s. He stepped over to the pot and gave it a stir and immediately saw and smelled the difference.
This is perfect camping food and enjoyed by all.
I love seeing photos from far away places I may never get to visit. So I thought you might like to see some of the scenery from on top of the Shenandoah Mountains.
These mountains are only two hours from Washington DC so the area is extremely popular with outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to escape the big city life.
We only saw one black bear and he was running across the road. I can’t say that I’m disappointed – seeing bears up close is not something I dream about.
Since black bears are common in these mountains, precautions must be taken when camping or backpacking. You should never sleep with food in your tent or camper and should secure these items in a hard sided vehicle or hoisted in a tree if sleeping in the back country.
Another common wild animal is the white tail deer. This pesky doe kept coming into our campsite making the dogs simply nuts! They were having a hissy fit from inside the camper. She could care less and was only interested in the apples that had fallen on the ground from the nearby tree. Since the deer are not hunted in this National Park, they have lost some of their fear of humans.
My husband got pretty close to her before she finally ran away.
Another fun adventure included a hike on the Appalachian Trail (AT). Virginia boasts nearly 500 miles of the AT with easy access to many day hikes or two or three day backpacking trips. My son took me backpacking on the AT one year for my birthday. It was great and I would do it again anytime.
We were blessed with beautiful weather with cool nights and breezy days.
A view from the AT.
This was my brothers first time hiking on the AT – he loved it!
Don’t forget your PIN!
Adapted from Rachael Ray
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds ground sirloin
- ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 3 tablespoons Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning (McCormick)
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 29 ounce can tomato sauce
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- Rolls and hot sauce for serving
- Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the oil and swirl to coat.
- Add the ground beef and cook stirring frequently to break up the meat.
- Once browned add the onions and red pepper.
- Cook for about 5 minutes then add the brown sugar, Montreal seasoning, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes then serve over toasted buns.
We also made some awesome Brunswick Stew and had S’mores on homemade Chocolate Graham Crackers. We’re getting back on the diet tomorrow! It was a lovely long weekend away from home and great to visit with my little brother. I hope you enjoyed your weekend too. Thanks so much for stopping by!