Since really falling in love with cooking, I will admit that it is easy to get caught up in the next new and fancy thing. Homemade pasta! Layer Cakes! Braising! Pretty Cupcakes! This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I have expanded my recipe file and become far more comfortable with my skills. But sometimes you want something easy. Sometime simple. Something like a Sloppy Joe.
I don’t specifically remember growing up eating sloppy joes but they just seem like the quintessential childhood food. A hamburger bun topped with a filling that is supposed to run all over your hands. It’s supposed to be sloppy. But don’t you think that I just browned some ground beef from a tube with a can of Manwich and called it a day. I can’t help it, I’m a tad fancier than that.
You see, I didn’t just use any old hamburger bun, but rather a challah roll that I picked up at Whole Foods. I was planning to buy some ground turkey thigh but grass fed beef was on sale, so I picked up a pound. I can’t remember the last time I actually cooked with ground beef. I will admit that it was nice for a change. After taking time to cut up a bunch of carrots, onions and celery into a nice small dice, then letting them slowly soften on the stove in my dutch oven, I browned the beef. Grass-fed beef is so wonderful because there is so little fat to drain off. Then the vegetables and beef get mingled with a can of crushed tomatoes and spices. Then in no time flat its time to spoon them into the middle of a brioche roll, put it on a plate, grab the paper towels and dig in.
I will admit that I almost enjoyed eating the filling from a bowl, with a bag of these tortilla chips at my side. Would be great with ruffled potato chips as well.
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 medium onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound ground beef (preferably grass-fed) or ground turkey
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 yummy rolls (brioche, challah, etc), split and toasted (I put mine under the broiler and almost burnt them, so do this at your own risk)
In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat and the add carrots, celery, and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for additional minute or so.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve on rolls or eat from a bowl with your chip of choice.