Gentleman Joes

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By Anthony Patrick Lunsmann

But Mom, they’re called Sloppy Joes!  They’re supposed to be sloppy!

The first meal I ever learned to cook was Sloppy Joes, but when your mother is a professional food stylist, nothing is ever “sloppy”. I learned early on that making a great meal is not simply about it being good tasting, it is also very much about “presentation”, and Sloppy Joes are no exception. 

As I got older and became more advanced in the kitchen, I often returned to the first meal I learned to prepare and added personal touches to the classic sandwich. Finally, after many years, I think I’ve mastered it…the perfect Sloppy Joe! So perfect, in fact, that calling it a “Sloppy Joe” seems to do it a true disservice.  A more accurate name, I believe, is the Gentleman Joe.
When this photo was taken I tried to dress in a way befitting my gentlemanly dish. A Thomas Pink shirt (a nod to my Anglophile side), J. Crew tie (for that all-American look) and Belgian linen apron…an unrequested present from my mother.

Gentleman Joes
makes 6 sandwiches

2 lbs. ground sirloin
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup your favorite prepared BBQ sauce (I use Paula Deen Smokey Apple Cinnamon BBQ Sauce)
Salt and pepper
3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
3 slices thick bacon, cooked crisp and chopped, drippings reserved
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 sandwich buns


In a large saute pan cook ground sirloin until just browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain beef fat from pan. Add reserved bacon fat and onion to pan and saute until onion is translucent. Add cooked beef and BBQ sauce. Reduce heat and simmer while heating potatoes.

In a medium sauce pan add potatoes, bacon and cheese. Cook over low heat until heated through.

To assemble put ½ cup potato mixture on the bottom of each sandwich bun. Top with a generous scoop of beef mixture and place bun top over.

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Reader Comments:


Love all the recipes I have ever tried. You are the Best Southern Cook!!! I support you in every endeavor. Thanks for this site. I usually can find any recipe I am looking for. Don't know how many of your recipe books I own. But love coming to Savannah and going to your restaurant and to Bubba's also. When we went there, he came over to our table and spent at least 20 minutes with us. It was a party of six ladies and we were all laughing it up. barbara jones

By Barbara Jones on August 18, 2013


I love your recipes thank you for posting them I love your show too.

By Sandy Murphy on January 30, 2013


Love your cooking Paula.. I look at it and gain weight! Delicious.. Just bought a complete set of pots and pans love those also!

By Margaret on May 10, 2011

Wow! I made these tonight and they were sooo yummy!! I also made Paulas boston baked beans and fried corn to go along with it. My son has requested we have these as often as possible.  smile

By Jennie on September 22, 2010


By tkmom on August 31, 2010

Loved the sloppy joes recipe, tried last night and defanitely added it to my repitoi of delicacies for an evening at home! thanxs

By t-2da-P on August 18, 2010

Great recipes, love em!!

By Gentlemanjoe on July 11, 2010

These sound delightful.  We are a sloppy joe fan ...these will be over the top!  We must try !! I just told my husband about these ... I believe these will be one of our favorites.  Thanks for sharing !!        gina

By gina on June 08, 2010

Wow! Those look delish!! Can’t wait to try `em!
Anthony ~ how do you feel about older women? smile
Keep those recipes coming!

By Cathi on May 18, 2010

Anthony, these Gentlemen Joe’s sound delicious!  I’m going to give them a try.  I love the fact that they have mashed potatoes on them.  I’m a potato girl so these will be a wonderful change!  Thank you!

By Pam Martin on March 09, 2010

i love reading anything paula deen write’s and love her buttery dishes and smoothies—hope i spelled that right.  keep-up the good cooking!!!!

By normajean on March 08, 2010


By GRACE BANGHART on March 07, 2010

Lauren, glad you liked the recipe.  It’s simple and delicious which is why I like it.  There is always help needed in the kitchen around here.  Where is “anywhere and everywhere”?  I’m 24 btw.

By Anthony Lunsmann on March 06, 2010

Hey Terri Blackmore, love the saying.  Big game tonight, hope we can win this one!

By Anthony Lunsmann on March 06, 2010

Hey cheri of bowling green, you can check out a picture of me on the contributors section of this website or look me up on facebook.  Talk to you later!

By Anthony Lunsmann on March 06, 2010

Hey everybody, thanks for all of your comments and I’m glad that you like the recipe!  I’m working on some things right now that y’all are really going to love so keep reading!

By Anthony Lunsmann on March 06, 2010

The recipe sounds delicious.
I would also like to see a picture of Anthony…

By Janet on March 06, 2010

Anthony, I could not help but notice your message to the “Duke Fans”.  We use to say to the “State Fans” the following: “You can’t get to heaven in a red canoe, ‘cause God made the sky Carolina Blue”.  I thought you might enjoy that one!
Your receipe looks delish and I definitely will be giving them a try!
From One Carolina Fan to Another!!!!

By Terri Blackmore on March 05, 2010

i just have to say, i tried them and they are so good.

so how old are you? and what do you want in a women?

i would love to come down and spend a day cooking with you all.

By lauren on March 05, 2010

where can I see this guys picture? I’m orginally from Cherry Point NC.  :D

By cheri on March 05, 2010

where is a picture of this guy? I wanna SEE ‘EM!

By cheri on March 05, 2010

I was just braggin’ on my Mom a few days ago how she made homemade sloppy joes when we were kids. I going to try these on my hubby ~ Mom would be proud!

By Carla Binai on March 05, 2010

Wow - do those sound delicious!  Will definitely try these for a Sunday afternoon supper.  Thanks for sharing!

By Laura on March 05, 2010

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm