Crock Pot Sloppy Barbecue Beef Sandwiches

Barbecue Beef Sandwich, Slow Cooker
Diana Rattray
  • 4 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
Ratings (8)

This "sloppy" barbecued ground beef mixture makes up the filling for delicious sandwiches. French fries or potato chips and coleslaw are excellent choices for sides to serve with the sandwiches -- or serve them with roasted potatoes or a potato salad. Your family will approve!

With some shredded carrot and diced celery, these sandwiches are also a clever way to get some veggies into the kids. Feel free to add some sliced or chopped mushrooms to the ground beef mixture.

Make this beef for a game day gathering or tailgating event. They're super easy to fix, and you can serve them hot from the slow cooker. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bell pepper (green or red, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • dash ground cloves
  • 6-8 split hamburger buns (or bulkie rolls, lightly toasted)

How to Make It

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble the ground beef into the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and grated carrot. Continue cooking, frequently stirring, until the beef is no longer pink and the onion is tender. Drain and discard excess grease.
  2. In a small bowl or 2-cup measure, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, the pepper, and cloves. Stir to blend the ingredients.
  1. Transfer the ground beef and vegetables to a slow cooker. Add the sauce mixture and stir to blend.
  2. Cover the pot and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.
  3. Serve the beef with its sauce over the toasted split buns along with coleslaw, French fries or potato salad.

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*Why Brown the Ground Beef?

Most meat can go right into the slow cooker with no pre-browning though browning or searing does add to the appearance and depth of flavor. Ground meat is the exception. You should brown ground beef or any ground meat to destroy any bacteria that might be present. Browning the ground meat also improves the texture, color, and flavor. 

Tips for Traveling With the Slow Cooker

If you will be taking the slow cooker to a party or potluck, wrap it in newspapers or a towel to keep it warm, and be sure to place it on a flat surface in the car so it will not tip over. Use rubber bands or twine to hold the lid securely. Serve within an hour of unplugging, or plug it in and set on LOW (or WARM) to keep the food at a safe temperature for a few hours.