Sloppy Joes

1 onion, diced
 5 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
olive or coconut oil for sauteeing
3 lbs. ground beef
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
1 jar or can tomato paste (6-7 oz.)
4 medium to large tomatoes, chopped (you could substitute a 14-15 oz. can of crushed tomatoes or tomato puree)
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
2 tsp. smoked paprika*
1/2 tsp. chili powder
a pinch cayenne, or more, to taste
3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
Chicken stock, as needed to thin
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sautee the onion, garlic, and celery until the onion is translucent. Add the ground beef and brown. Add the bell pepper and all other ingredients, except the chicken stock, and mix well. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes, to allow the flavors to meld.
If the mixture starts to dry out, add a little chicken stock. If the mixture is too wet, just simmer with the lid off until it’s the desired consistency. Taste, and add salt if needed.
The size you chop the vegetables depends on how chunky you want the Sloppy Joes (and this very well may depend on whether you have kids).
Serve over buns, bread or baked potatoes.
* If you don’t have smoked paprika and don’t want to get some, you can use regular paprika. It won’t have quite the same flavor, but will still be very good.

Christie Blankfield

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