Sophisto Joes

by Cate on May 4, 2004

Recipe courtesy of Gourmet magazine

These are the Jay Gatsbys of sloppy joes—suave, debonair. But we’d be remiss if we let the black-tie frippery of these cosmopolitan joes belie their true nature: Just as with Fitzgerald’s famous hero, there’s substance underneath all that class. These civilized sandwiches are hearty, delicious, and perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Active time: 25 min Start to finish: 35 min

Servings: Makes 4 servings

1 (14-1/2-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained (I used crushed tomatoes to save the first step of the directions)
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1-1/2 lb ground beef chuck
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
4 kaiser rolls, split Preparation

Purée tomatoes in a blender. Cook onion and garlic in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add carrot, celery, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add beef and brown, stirring to break up lumps, 5 to 6 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add puréed tomatoes, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar and boil, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and sandwich inside rolls.

Cate’s Notes: Drain ground beef.

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