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MICHAEL SYMON Bacon and Brown Sugar Sloppy Joes

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Michael’s take on this classic American meal!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon (medium dice)
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion (peeled, finely diced)
1 small jalapeno (seeded, finely diced)
2 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)
1 green bell pepper (seeded, finely diced)
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups whole peeled tomatoes (crushed)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
4 potato rolls (toasted)
8 slices American cheese

Preheat a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium-high heat.
To the preheated pan, add the olive oil and the bacon, stirring occasionally until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate. Leave 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan.
Add the ground beef, break it up into smaller pieces and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and bell pepper, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are slightly caramelized, about 8 minutes.
Add the sweet paprika and tomato paste, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, fish sauce, reserved bacon, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer the beef mixture for 20 minutes, allowing the tomatoes to cook down and all of the flavors to combine.
To Serve: Adjust an oven rack to the top shelf of the oven. Preheat the broiler.
Place a slice of cheese on the inside of the top and bottom bun. Place on a baking sheet and broil until melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and scoop a heaping amount of beef mixture onto each potato roll.
Tip: Turn this recipe into a slow cooker dish, brown the beef in a saute pan and remove to the bowl of the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and turn on low for 4-5 hours.

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