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4th of July Balsamic Sloppy Joes & Patriotic Balsamic Fizz

Posted by Noria Yanz on

One of our favorite traditions at Teaoli is to spend our summer days cooking for those we love, then enjoying the fruits of our labor together. Some of the best memories are formed this way, and we'd like to share a little bit of that love with your family as well. What better time than the 4th of July?

Sloppy Joes are an undeniable summer classic -- kids and adults alike can appreciate their simplicity and ability to please everyone's tastes. And sure, you can make them with canned ingredients, but we've got a sneaking suspicion that as soon as your circle of loved ones tries this one from scratch, you'll never go back again! This recipe has incredible depth of flavor -- a little sweet and tangy, a little spicy, and definitely above average. 

Let's get a little sloppy together this Independence Day as we all celebrate the country we're so proud to be a part of!

Preparation Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Sloppy Joe Ingredients:

1 c. Water
¾ c. Ketchup
¾ c. Chili Sauce
2 Tbsp. Teaoli Balsamic Vinegar (TraditionalEspressoMaple, and Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegars are all fantastic options for this recipe that make it slightly new each time, so take a vote or try them all!)
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
2 tsp. Chili Powder
2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
½ tsp. Cumin
½ tsp. Crushed Red Pepper (or more, to taste)
4 ½ tsp. Teaoli Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Butter is a classic, but you could spice things up with Chipotle if your family loves the heat!)
½ Medium Yellow Onion, diced finely
1 Large Green Bell Pepper, diced finely
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 lbs. Ground Beef
2 pkgs. Butter Buns (or your family's favorite)
Sliced Cheddar Cheese (optional)
Dill Pickle Chips (optional)


1. Dice onion, bell pepper, and garlic. 
2. In a medium bowl, combine water, ketchup, chili sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, dijon, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, and red pepper flakes and mix well. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the vegetables. Cook until softened, then add garlic and saute another two minutes.
4. Increase the heat to high, add ground beef, and cook until browned, breaking up very well with a wooden spoon. Drain excess liquid as much as possible.
5. Add sauce mixture to pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened and slightly reduced.
6. Serve on a toasted bun. If you like toppings, add mustard, pickle chips, and cheese!

See how easy that was? When we tried it, one of the cousins said it was good enough to eat by itself in a bowl, and she's not wrong! If -- and we do mean IF -- you have leftovers, try them with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, chili-style. Now THAT'S easy enough for even the least culinarily-inclined members of your brood.

We served ours with a delicious 4th of July twist on our popular Balsamic Fizz. In case you haven't tried one yet, they're a delicious and healthy alternative to soda. They're entirely customizable, so you can make them as lightly flavored as La Croix or as flavorful as you prefer! Here's the recipe we used, but feel free to get inspired and come up with your own combinations. The possibilities are endless!

Patriotic Balsamic Fizz Ingredients:

2 oz. Gravenstein Apple White Balsamic Vinegar
12-15 oz. Pellegrino Sparkling Water
10-15 Blueberries
Strawberries (for garnish)


1. Mix Pellegrino and Balsamic Vinegar. More or less can be added to change the flavor, so find what you like best!
2. Stir in ice cubes, blueberries, and a few slices of strawberry or fresh basil, if desired.
3. Garnish with strawberries, sliced partway through so they sit on the rim of the glass.

That's all for now! Keep an eye on the blog for more summer recipes, events, and news! Have a safe and Happy 4th!

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