I love sloppy Joes and po’ boys so I had an idea to bring them together in one sandwich. The key to a po’ boy is the New Orleans French baguette—I love the airy, chewy texture of that bread with the savory sloppy Joe filling. Crispy fried onions add a great crunch similar to what you’d get in a classic fried seafood po’ boy.
Heat a 9- to 11-inch skillet over high heat until hot, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour in the olive oil, wait until you see white smoke then add the beef. Press the beef into a flat disc with a spatula and cook undisturbed until brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is brown all over. Start to break up the beef into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Stir and fold and continue to cook until the onion is translucent and the beef is browned on the outside but rare in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire, mustard and soy sauce; cook and fold into the beef until mixed well and warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. If you feel the sauce is too thick, stir in a little chicken stock to thin it out. Remove from heat and prepare to build the po’ boys.
Pop the baguettes in a toaster oven until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake the baguettes on a baking sheet until toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove and carefully cut each baguette in half crosswise then split them open lengthwise. Spread the mayo evenly across all the halves.
Divide the sloppy Joe filling evenly among the bun bottoms. Top with cheese, tomato, lettuce and crispy onions. Add a few shots of hot sauce, if you like. Close the po’ boys and enjoy!