As much as I am a huge fan of fresh produce, all natural ingredients, and healthy, balanced meals, on occasion, I really need a tasty, easy comfort food that is easy to get everyone to eat. Because after all, there are some nights I’m just not feeling up to negotiating how much of the meal one must finish in order to get a piece of their Easter candy for dessert. And sometimes, even I need a comfort food treat.
For as long as I can remember, sloppy joes were one of those “easy” meals moms made for their kids. After all, isn’t that how Manwich became so popular? But although I have been known in my past to resort to a can of Manwich, tonight I wanted to at least provide a “home-cooked” version of this traditional delight. And these sloppy joes were delightful indeed – the flavors were complex and satisfying, with just enough heat to keep it interesting. The heat comes from – what else? Chipotle! Chipotle peppers are one of my favorite peppers to use, I love their sweet and smoky heat. Chipotles are smoked, dried jalapeno peppers. The easiest way to get ahold of them is in canned form. You can find these in the Latin section of most groceries. Below is just one of several brands available.
With a few oven fries on the side, this was a comforting meal indeed, perfect for a Friday night. Yum!
2 T olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
2 lbs ground beef
Salt and pepper
2 c crushed tomatoes
2/3 c ketchup
2 t Worcestershire sauce
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot (but not smoking), add onion and celery. Cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add chipotle peppers and stir.
Increase heat to medium-high and add ground beef. Crumble ground beef as it cooks. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until browned. Season with salt and pepper.
Lower heat back to medium and add the crushed tomatoes, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring, until liquid is reduced and mixture is thick, about 20 minutes.
Check seasoning and adjust as necessary. Serve on hamburger buns.