“What in the heck is a Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwich?”. That was EXACTLY my reaction when I came across this recipe in the current months issue of, Cook’s Country Magazine . (April/May 2018) It is basically a Sloppy Joe sandwich but with a bit of a different flavor profile. It is more sweet and zesty instead of just savory like traditional Sloppy Joe sandwiches are. Evidently, this is a popular sandwich in the Detroit area, I was intrigued to try something so regional so I decided to give it a go! Shockingly, my daughter, who is the the most picky eater in the world, loved it! She ate it with no complaint and she didn’t try to pick anything out of it which is always a plus! When Emerson eats something, I know the recipe is a keeper!
I adhered to the recipe for the most part, making only a slight adjustment with the chili powder. I felt that 3/4 tsp of hot chili powder would be a touch too hot for kids so I cut that down to just under a 1/2 tsp which was the right call. The finished meal had just enough to heat to be noticeable but not overwhelming. Also, I was a little short on beef so I used 1 lb of ground beef and 1/4 lb of ground pork. The cooked meat turned out very tender and delicious so I recommend trying the combination if you have both on hand. Lastly, I didn’t have any Italian sub rolls in the house so I decided to use English Muffins instead which worked out fine, they were nice and sturdy and held all of the meat well.
Just a little footnote, in the future I think I might adjust my seasonings to make it a touch less sweet. I think the combination of brown sugar and apple cider vinegar in the amounts called for added a little too much sweetness for my palate but that’s just preference. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your liking. Enjoy!
For the sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 3 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbs packed brown sugar
- 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 tsp dried thyme
- 3/4 tsp dry mustard
- 3/4 tsp granulated garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
For the sandwiches
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 lbs 85% lean ground beef
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 4 (6 inch) Italian sub rolls or English muffins, toasted
- 8 slices of American cheese
For the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
For the sandwiches, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350ºF. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the beef, onion, pepper and salt and cook, breaking up the pieces with a spoon, until the liquid has evaporated and the meat begins to sizzle, about 10 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
Place rolls on a rimmed baking sheet. Coat the bottoms of the bread with the remaining sauce. Evenly divide the meat mixture among the bottom of the rolls and top with 2 slices of American cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and the rolls are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Cover each sandwich with the top of a bun and serve.