These are one of our favorite dinners. Not too long ago we discovered that we could split a batch of roll dough into two sections and roll them out to fit a cookie sheet, cover the bottom layer of dough with the sloppy joe mixture, top it with the other half of the roll dough, and bake some less sloppy sandwiches. These are a hit with everyone from my 92 year old grandmother, to my rather picky eight year old. I love how easy they are, and the ingredients are staples that we always have on hand.
2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 stalks of celery, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cans (15oz, each) tomato sauce (organic tastes best, really)
salt and pepper to taste
cloves to taste (I'm guessing that I use about 1/8 tsp, try that, taste and adjust for your tastes)
Italian seasoning (probably between 1 and 2 tsp)
brown sugar to taste (I'm guessing a scant 1/4 cup... too little is better than too much, so add a handful and taste)
Brown the beef with the vegetables, add the tomato sauce and seasonings. I like to let this simmer while my bread dough is rising, so I begin browning the beef immediately after setting the bread dough aside for it's first rising. While the beef is browning I chop vegetables and then add them to the dutch oven (because I usually cook in an enamel coated, cast iron, dutch oven). As soon as the beef is browned I add the tomato sauce and seasonings, then turn the heat down, put a lid on the pot, and let it simmer (stirring occasionally) until the rolls are done (about two hours). You CAN serve the sloppy joes after only about 20 minutes of simmering, but what fun would that be?