Early spring, with its schizophrenic weather, always brings to mind spring sports particularly Little League.
I remember fondly sitting in the stands rooting for the boys and I also remember running from one practice to another and one game to another. The games, practices, and homework sure didn’t lend themselves to a family dinner. Those years introduced me to cooking for kids (and me) on the run. One of the dinners on the weekly rotation were Sloppy Joes. Back then Sloppy Joes were a sweet concoction of ground meat served on a hamburger bun. What follows is a grown up version of Sloppy Joes for those days when you are running to maybe your grandchild’s sporting event.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
½ pound ground beef, preferably 85 percent lean
1 packed tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ cup canned or jarred tomato purée
1 tablespoon of D.W.’s Secret Sauce – https://newclassicrecipe.com/2021/02/25/d-w-s-secret-sauce/
1 15 ounce can of lentils
- Warm the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over high heat. Add the onion and peppers Season with 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan, and add the ground beef. Season the beef with a pinch of salt. Break up the beef with the spatula and cook 1 to 2 more minutes, until completely browned with no visible pink spots.
- Combine the vegetables and beef, then add the sugar and tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute to toast the tomato paste. Add the garlic powder and cumin, then the tomato purée, D.W.’s Secret Sauce or a couple of drops of Red Hot Sauce. Stir in the lentils. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer to thicken slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Serve on delicious toasted buns with lettuce and thinly sliced red onion.
Products that can be used in the preparation of this recipe: