Sloppy Sophisto Joes

makes 6 servings

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 celery rib, finely diced

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

6 buns, sliced

mayonnaise (not the salad dressing stuff)

yellow mustard

sweet onion, like Vidalia or Georgia, sliced into rings

bread and butter pickles

In a large skillet ( bigger if you are doubling the recipe) over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add the onion and sauté until it begins to brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.  Add the carrot, celery, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the beef and cook until brown, breaking up any large clumps, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, remaining salt and black pepper and cook, stirring every few moments, for 2 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for another minute.  Add the crushed tomatoes, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar and boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 6-8 minutes.  Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with additional salt and black pepper if needed.

To serve

Slather a bit of mayonnaise on each bun half.  Spoon some of the meat sauce on the bottom of each of the buns, top with a few onion slices, some bread and butter pickles, and a drizzle of yellow mustard.  Add the top half of the bun.  Smoosh together and take a big bite.  Enjoy!

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