We have been getting pounded with snow and cold here in Chicago, so this saucy sandwich was just what we needed to warm our bellies. It’s pretty easy to make too (not quite as easy as opening a can, but much better for you!).
– 1 lb. Ground Beef (I think ours was 80 / 20)
– Jar of Pasta Sauce (Choose something simple like garlic or basil & tomato. I used a jar of arrabiata, which is basically tomatoes, chili peppers & garlic)
– 1 Diced Bell Pepper (color of your choice)
– 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
– 1/2 an Onion, diced
– BBQ Sauce (to taste … about 1/4 cup)
– Brown Sugar
– Chili Powder
– 1 to 2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
– Salt & Pepper
Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat with a little salt and pepper and chili powder (use as much or as little of this as you like. We use much.). When there’s just a bit of pink left, add in the peppers, onions, and garlic.
Continue to cook until the onions take on that translucent color, the peppers soften up, and the beef finishes browning. Next you will remove the mixture from the heat and dump it into a strainer to drain the fat. DO NOT skip this part. You will be amazed how much fattiness oozes out. Gross – you don’t want to eat that. Return the mixture to the skillet and add in your tomato sauce. Give it a stir while simmering over low-medium heat.
Stir in the BBQ sauce and brown sugar a little at a time (tasting as you go) until you reach your desired flavor. Add in a bit more salt, pepper, and chili powder if you need too as well. Then add the apple cider vinegar – start with 1 tsp, taste and then decide if you want another. The vinegar just gives the dish a little kick of acid and amps up the flavor. Let everything simmer for about 5 more minutes and then slap it on some buns and chow down! (Because that’s the way you do it with a Sloppy Joe).