This recipe is super-versatile—you can use carrots and celery instead of a bell pepper, sweeten the Joes with brown sugar instead of molasses, and omit the chili powder and red pepper if you like a milder filling. The chips and pickles, however? Non-negotiable.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef (20% fat)
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- ½ green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup tomato purée
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Djion mustard
- 1 teaspoon robust-flavored (dark) molasses
- 4 hamburger rolls, buttered, toasted
- Kettle chips and pickle spears (for serving)
- Heat oil in a large skillet over high. Cook beef, breaking up with a spoon, until browned on all sides but not completely cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in pan as possible.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, bell pepper, and garlic, stirring, until tender but not browned, 6–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper. Add chili powder, paprika, onion powder, and red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add stock, tomato purée, ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, molasses, and beef along with any accumulated juices to pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until mixture is thick and saucy (like a ragú or Bolognese), 12–15 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon beef mixture onto rolls. Serve with chips and pickle spears alongside.