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Sam Sifton's 'No Recipe' Sloppy Joes

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

Chef notes

This is a no-recipe recipe, a recipe without an ingredients list or steps. It invites you to improvise in the kitchen. The result here is a no-stress, comforting dinner that can be made in minutes.


Put a Dutch oven over medium-high heat on your stove, then add a glug of olive oil and sauté in it a handful of chopped onions, a couple diced ribs of celery, a diced jalapeño and a small diced red pepper.

When the mixture is super soft, add a few cloves of minced garlic and cook for a couple more minutes, then dump a pound and a half of ground beef into the pot — ideally the sort that is 20 percent fat — and stir and sizzle until it is well browned, about 10 minutes.

Bring the heat down a bit and add a lot of tomato paste — say 3 tablespoons, maybe 4 — and let it get a little toasty before adding a cup or more of puréed canned tomatoes. Cook that down for a few minutes, then add quite a few glugs of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to taste, and continue cooking until the mixture is quite thick, another 15-20 minutes.

Season to taste and serve on toasted potato buns. I like steamed broccoli on the side.

This "no-recipe" recipe was reprinted with permission from NYT Cooking.