Sweet and smoky sloppy Joes

This recipe was inspired by my deep and abiding love for barbeque sauce.  I love the sweet and smoky flavors and how they complement just about any meat perfectly.  The carrot in the sauce, grated finely, melts away, leaving only a sweet background in the sauce but giving you (or should I say me?) some much needed vegetables.

1 lb. ground beef
1 small (sweet) onion, minced
1 large carrot, finely grated
1-8 oz. can (garlic) tomato sauce
1 heaping Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder

Put beef into cold high-sided skillet and break up to create one even layer of meat in the bottom of the pan.  Meanwhile, chop the onion and peel the carrot.  Add the onion and break up the meat some more; redistribute to again achieve an even layer of meat in the pan.  Grate the carrot over the meat and onion mixture, stirring well when finished.  Add the sugar, tomato sauce, and tomato paste and stir well.  Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the sauce to begin to thicken.  Add the spices and stir well.  Serve hot on buns.

Note: if you like spicier sloppy Joes, you could substitute chipotle pepper powder for the smoked paprika.  I think the next time I make this, I’m going to try a combination of the two, as I really love the flavor of paprika.  You could also add more black pepper and chili powder, as each form of pepper hits your tongue in a different place, thereby deepening the flavor.

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About menuplanningmama

I am a mother of two, and like many people today, I am also a military wife. Between my husband's work schedule and having two children who are only 20 months apart in age, it is very important to me that my family eat well and that it doesn't take hours out of my life. Menu planning has enabled my family to save money and eat better (which is important to me as a nursing mother). And eating better has great side effects: weight loss!

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