A Pueblo Native’s Slopper Recipe Based on the Legendary Pueblo Slopper
This isn’t just any Slopper recipe. I’m talking about my Slopper recipe which is based on the legendary Pueblo Slopper. If you aren’t already salivating from that news, then I need to introduce you to this mouth-watering dish. You see, I grew up just outside Pueblo, Colorado, the home of the legendary Pueblo Slopper, and the origins of any true Slopper recipe. So take it from me, a proper Pueblo native (although I’ve since gone rogue to Spain), if you like comfort food, you’re going to love my Slopper recipe.
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A Slopper Should Be A Work of Art
A chef/food enthusiast I was recently listening to mentioned that cooking is an art. I could not agree more. He explained why it can be the ultimate creative expression. Compared to other art forms, a great food dish can involve all our primary senses: sight, scent, texture (feel), even sound, and of course taste.
Often times when we experience “comfort food” we have an emotion or feeling about what we are eating. Do you get where this is leading? The Slopper recipe deliciously encompasses all these senses in the best of ways. And for me, it is a throwback dish that is truly a masterpiece.
Essentially, a Slopper is an open-faced cheeseburger smothered in green chili. It was first created in Pueblo, Colorado in the 1950s (although some say it was the 1970s). Anybody can make a cheeseburger (that’s another recipe), but the green chili (and, sorry, but that’s another recipe too) is what makes this dish. Keep in mind that Pueblo, Colorado is renowned for its dynamite Pueblo chiles (not to be confused with Hatch chiles), which in turn makes for the best green chili sauce, in my opinion.
A Slopper Recipe With Some History
Above Image – Yep, that’s me in high school.
It was back in my high school days in Pueblo when I first experienced what has since been labeled the Pueblo Slopper. Yeah, the name sounds very lunch-lady-like. And let’s get one thing straight – it is not a Sloppy Joe (nor to be compared to one). But once you try a well made Slopper, you’ll never associate the dish with cafeteria food or a Sloppy Joe.
In Pueblo, Colorado there are some pretty heated rivalries over the Slopper. Like, who was the first to create it? What was the inspiration? I went on a Slopper excursion (aka, Slopper hop) several years ago with some friends and found the Slopper to be alive and thriving in my old haunts in Pueblo. But it was Grey’s Coors Tavern where I first experienced this incredible dish while growing up.
Above Image – My homemade green chile.
It’s no surprise that I tend to believe that Grey’s is the origin of the Pueblo Slopper. It was there that it was imaginatively thought up and requested by their regular patron, Herb Casebeer. Talk about being a great regular.
Here’s the thing, the Slopper recipe is so simple you can make your own with a little creativity (and even if you don’t have Pueblo Chiles). This is the first time I have tried to make it in Spain and it turned out pretty dang good. However, a key thing that was missing was the combination of Pueblo chiles and Big Jim green chiles, which make the Slopper taste the way it does in Pueblo. But hey, it came close.
READ MORE: 26 Great Reasons To Live In Spain
A Slopper Recipe You Can Make Your Own
Let me break the Slopper recipe down for you. You can really have fun with it and do your own variation depending on your preference of ingredients. I heard of people using chicken, turkey, or even pork sausage for their cheeseburgers, but I prefer really good sourced beef. Or, grilled American bison, if you dare. The cheeseburger should be chargrilled on a hot open flame.
For this Slopper recipe, I used American imported Black Angus beef. I do like the Spanish version as well, but I couldn’t get to our favorite butcher (such is the case for many lockdown recipes). Sometimes in Spain, they have a tendency to over-grind the beef and it can get a little “rubbery” and dense, so if you’re in Europe ask a butcher to grind it just once. I added some sea salt, pepper Worcestershire or organic soy sauces, and dried garlic to my beef paddies before grilling them with onion.
For the bread, I used fresh Spelt bread. When you grill the bread it gets really crispy, especially Spelt bread because it has a low moisture point. While that was happening on the grill I heated up my homemade green chili I had made the day before. I also started my potatoes in the air fryer to do a side of patatas bravas (fried hand-cut potato wedges). I had already sliced my tomatoes, lettuce, other garnishes, and shredded some cheese earlier so I was ready to go when it came time to plate.
This Slopper Recipe Has Got The Look
And yes, plating is important, especially with this dish. I used small terracotta dishes. First, I added some chili for the base, then a slice of the toasted bread, a small handful of cheese sprinkled evenly on the bread, and then the meat patty. Finally, the most important step is to then slop on more green chili. Top it all off with another sprinkle of cheese and your garnishes around the edges. I also recommend a dollop of a Mexican salsa and a chipotle sour cream.
When you sit down to eat the Slopper, the beef, cheese, and crunchiness of the bread, all slopped with green chili, is just so freakin’ good. And really, you gotta wash it down with a cold, local beer. It reminds me of so many things that were unique about growing up on a farm just outside the small town of Pueblo, Colorado.
This was not technically a Pueblo Slopper but aye, Dios mío it was the best in Spain, if not this side of the Atlantic, and definitely a crave-worthy throwback! Besides, I made it, and it’s where that saying comes in handy… you can take the boy out of Pueblo, but you can’t take Pueblo out of the boy.
So that you can also disfrutar (enjoy), here is my Slopper recipe based on the legendary Pueblo Slopper.
Download My Slopper Recipe Card
Slopper Recipe Based on the Pueblo Slopper
- 1/2 lb ground beef Formed into 2 patties
- 2 lbs pork green chili For the slopping. More can be used.
- 4-5 small vine tomatoes
- 4 slices onion For grilling with the beef.
- 2 garlic cloves For grilling with the beef.
- 1 small loaf of spelt bread
- 3 leaves of romain lettuce Chopped.
- 1 cup grated aged white cheddar
- 1 cup grated regular cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup chipotle sour cream Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute if you make this yourself.
- 1/2 cup Mexican salsa
- Get things prepped by slicing your tomatoes and lettuce, and grate your two kinds of cheese.
- Season and form your beef patties as you prefer. I added some sea salt, pepper, Worcestershire or organic soy sauces, and dried garlic.
- Slice your bread for your hamburger buns and drizzle with olive oil.
- Get your green chili heating up on the stove (this is another recipe for another time).
- Then grill your beef patties (to your preference) along with the onion, garlic cloves, and bread. Make sure they're chargrilled on a hot open flame.
- While the grill is going and the green chili is heating up, you can make some sides. I made some 'patatas bravas' (hand-cut potato wedges) in the air fryer.
- Once you're done grilling, it's time to plate. I recommend a type of shallow bowl. I used small terracota dishes. First, add some of the green chili for the base, then a slice of the toasted bread, then a small handful of the cheese spread evenly, and then the meat centered on top. Now the most important part, pour on more green chili and then sprinkle with more cheese.
- Garnish with the romaine lettuce, grilled onions, sliced black olives, sliced tomatoes, and a dollop of both sauces. Avocado is also great, although I wasn't able to get any for this recipe. If you like really hot and spicy, have your favorite hot sauce ready on the table, or make sure you make your green chili with some kick.
- I highly recommend savoring this dish with a locally-sourced, cold, hoppy beer.
Written by Eric J. Trujillo
Art Director & Film Producer
As a visual communicator and artist, I love bringing stories to life. Visit StudioTrujillo.com and AutonomousRhinoceros.com to see what else I’m up to.
Ay, Dios mío. What a fun post. I’m from Pueblo, and from the looks of your high school photo, from the same era, and never once ate a slopper. However, I did grow up eating green chile. I lived in South America for a decade and used whatever green pepper I could get my hands on to make green chile. If your family was like mine, they ladled it over everything, including Thanksgiving dinner!
Hi Deborah, Thanks so much for enjoying our post. We love hearing from other people who are from Pueblo as well. And yep, green chile was enjoyed on practically every dish. We hope you keep enjoying blog and wish you all the best.
Always have made my homemade green chili and of course, my Pueblo Slopper.
’78 grad from PCHS – Go Hornets!
That is fantastic to hear. Thanks so much for enjoying our post and commenting!
I live in California but I own a house in Pueblo. Every time I visit, my first stop is to the Coors Tavern for a slopper and a beer. Love it every time. I try to replicate it here, and I’ve come close, but nothing beats being in Pueblo. Thanks for the article.
Hi Richard, Thanks so much for being on our blog and sharing your own appreciation for Pueblo and its delicious Slopper.
We agree – there’s nothing like eating the Slopper right in Pueblo. It’s the best tasting Slopper when you have it there.
Keep enjoying it and thanks again for your comment.
I need a tried and true, authentic green chile recipe! I spent about 5 years in Pueblo and absolutely fell in love with the food. I now live in a Midwest state and they have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention green chile. The withdrawal and desperation is real! I would love to make my own, but have no idea where to start. Any one have a recipe they’d like to share?
Hi Kelli. Thanks so much for enjoying our post. We can relate to how much you miss authentic green chile. Eric will try to get a recipe out sometime this year or next for that. Sorry that we don’t have something out yet.
Kelli, I get you! A Pueblo native, it was hard to discover nobody makes green chili the same way once you’re out of Pueblo. In Cheyenne I’ve found a Mexican eatery that makes fabulous green chili. But I’ve learned in my 47 years outside of Pueblo to make my own. Here’s my basic method.
*1# cut pork, ( you decide how big or small, k? And use more or less to your
*Green Chili’s (if you’re lucky you’ll have some Pueblo chili’s in your freezer, if not you’ll have to use the canned ones. If using canned buy the whole Chili’s several of the small cans or one of the big cans. Just give them a rough chop?
If using canned you’ll also need can of diced jalapenos. Do not buy them with vinegar, just like a canned chili in your Mexican food aisle.)
*A small can of diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes. ( If whole you can just scrunch up one or two of the tomatoes in your hand and squeeze it to become small pieces of diced just use ½ of the can. Don’t need to use the juice.)
*1-2 cloves minced Garlic
*1 medium chopped Onion
*Flour, salt and pepper
(Occasionally I’ll use a little bit of chicken broth instead of just plain water when making the chili. Some of my friends also like to use a tad of cumin, which doesn’t hurt, I quite like it but not necessary.
Directions, salt and pepper your meat, then brown your meat in a couple or more of huge tablespoons of lard in heavy big skillet. Towards the end of browning I put in a couple cloves of garlic. You can use one clove if you prefer. I do this at the end so it doesn’t turn crisp. Then I add enough flour as is your going to make a gravy? A few tablespoons, if it’s not enough you can thicken it later.. you should have enough lard in the skillet they you can mix the four in and let the fat from pork and lard work in very well into the floor, just don’t let it burn. Use a low to medium heat for this part. After several minutes of this flour step, you can add the onion. Just use the amount as well as the size of the chop you want. I use a medium size onion, chopped small but not minced. Let this cook in the medium heat pot while you get your water or broth, and tomatoes and Chili’s. You’ve got them? Dump in your liquid and really stir it or whisk to remove any lumps as this cooks. Make sure to scrape up the bottom as you store. This is a lot of flavor you don’t want to waste.I would just guess in the amount of liquid you need start with 5 C? Stir it all real well. At this point you see your actually making a stew, yes? Dump in your tomato and chili. Stir stir. Then let this cook over very low heat for maybe ½ an hour? The longer it says the more the flavors combine. You can put it in a crock pot and let it cook over lowest setting for as long as you want. If you don’t have
Hi Anna, Thanks so much for enjoying our post and most of all for sharing your own green chile recipe! How wonderful! It really inspires us to finally publish Eric’s own green chile recipe as well which we’ve been meaning to do. Thanks again and we wish you all the best!
How can i get uour green chili recipe to make the slopper? Thank you.
Hi Mary. Thank you for being on our blog and for wanting our Slopper recipe. It is available to download from the post itself. Just scroll further down the post and you’ll see the recipe card and option to print to PDF. If you’re not seeing it, it may be viewable now or let us know so we can resolve the issue.
Our apologies as well for not being able to answer you sooner.
Greetings all, I am requesting the green chili recipe to make a slopper.
Hi Nicholas! Thanks for being on our blog and asking for this recipe. Unfortunately, we do not have it ready to post yet but will do our best to get it done soon. Please check back for when we’ll have it! Thank you.
I always make it a point to try the Pueblo Slopper when visiting Pueblo or driving through!
Hi David! Thanks for being on our blog. It’s always great to meet a fellow Pueblo Slopper lover. And agreed – anytime one goes to or through Pueblo, it’s a must to stop for a Pueblo Slopper.
We hope you keep enjoying them!
¡Joder Tío! I’m also from Pueblo (Central ’96) and lived in Spain (Madrid and Barcelona) for a few years. Everything in this blog post made me smile thinking about my two favorite places in the world. Disfruta España para mí!
Hombre! That’s so cool. Thanks for enjoying our article Andrea. How amazing that you’re from good ‘ol Pueblo AND lived in Spain some years. Did you miss the Pueblo Green Chile while you were here? We will definitely keep enjoying España for you. 🙂 If you ever find yourself over here again, reach out to us!
Hope to see you on our blog again. We’ll do our best to keep up with some new stories here when we’re not doing our other work and running around enjoying Spanish tapas and wine.
I grew up in Pueblo graduated from East High School 1978 and I have not lived there for 38 years but always thinking of memories of my home town, Runyon field,Pass Key sausage sandwich the farms in Blend with their produce in the fall and all the great memories of Pueblo and people I loved your line you can take the boy out of Pueblo but you can’t take Pueblo out of the boy
Hi Tim! Thanks so much for enjoying our post and sharing about your own wonderful memories from Pueblo. That is so neat that you’re from there as well. It’s great to meet someone else who can relate and know what it means that you can’t take Pueblo out of the boy. So true! We wish you all the best and hope you continue to enjoy our blog.