Sloppy Joes, Sloppy Does, and Dreams of the North

Ah, Sloppy Joes.  When I think of Sloppy Joes, the first things that come to mind are children, chips, and a big mess, lol.  I don’t really remember eating these a lot as a kid, but what I do know is that, as an adult, I do love me some Sloppy Joes, mess and all!  They are definitely NOT just for kids 😉.  

In our house, we fondly refer to them as Sloppy Does.  Why, you might ask? Well, we make them, primarily, with venison.  Hence, Does… 😊  Last year, we were blessed with 2 deer.  With how much meat prices have gone up in the last year and a half, it’s been a huge gift to have this wild game in our freezer.

Our archery season starts in just under a month, September 15 (in honor of my brother’s birthday—yes, I’m SURE that’s why they picked that day for Open Season 😉).  For us, hunting isn’t just a sport—it’s a lifestyle.  We don’t hunt for the trophy.  We hunt to put food on the table. 

We’re the dorks who, in our spare time, watch shows about living in Alaska, surviving alone in the wilderness, hunting and preparing wild game…that’s our Jam…our Dream.   On almost a weekly basis, one of us says something to the effect of “Honey, lets just move to Alaska”, or “Babe, it’s time to drop it all and just head North”.  The wild, untamed wilderness tugs at our hearts.  Maybe someday we’ll end up there, on the Tundra, subsistence living though harsh winters and mild summers.  Sounds like a wonderful dream to me!!

Today, I wanted to share with you my favorite way to prepare Sloppy Joes. As mentioned many times before, I’m not a huge fan of veggies….so I try to sneak them in here and there.  To be honest, my favorite for this recipe is to just have onions and garlic added to the meat, but I have come to enjoy additional veggies, like bell peppers, shredded carrots, and even cabbage.  Pick and choose what you’re willing to try though.  I hope y’all enjoy! Thanks for stopping by!

**This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. **

Sloppy Joes


  • 1-2 TBSP Oil for frying
  • 1 packed cup Onions, finely chopped (150 grams, or about ½ 1 large yellow onion)
  • ½ TBSP Garlic (6 grams, or about 2 large cloves)
  • 1 lb lean Ground Beef or Venison
  • 1 diced Bell Pepper (color doesn’t matter) (120 grams, or about 1 cup) (optional)
  • 1 medium carrot, grated (about 70 grams, or about ¾ cup) (optional)
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ cup Tomato Paste
  • ½ cup Ketchup
  • 1 TBSP Yellow Mustard
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup Water


Heat up a pan or cast iron skillet. Add the oil.  Once the oil has heated up, add the onions and sauté for about 2 minutes.

Add the ground beef or venison and cook until it’s browned (about 5-8 minutes).

Stir in your garlic.

If you’re adding the vegetables, add them at this point and stir them until well mixed.

Sprinkle in the dry spices (chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper), stirring well.

Finally, add the tomato paste, ketchup, mustard, W. sauce, and water.

Once it’s thoroughly combined, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes to give the spices a chance to infuse.  You’ll want to stir it occasionally to make sure that it’s not sticking.

Serve warm on fresh, homemade buns (check out my Delicious Hamburger Bun recipe to see how I make my buns—they’re delightful!).  You can also top the meat with cheese to make it extra Yummo. 😊