1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (~1 bell pepper)
1 pound lean (90/10) ground beef
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup ketchup (Heinz recommended)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon light brown sugar, (See Note 1)
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, optional
Brioche buns (or your favorite hamburger buns, for serving)
Optional: butter for toasting buns
PREP VEGGIES: Peel an onion and grate it on the large holes of a cheese grater. Mince the garlic, finely chop (or grate on the large holes) a carrot, and finely chop the red pepper. ALTERNATIVELY, add a coarsely chopped carrot, coarsely chopped red pepper, and garlic to a food processor and pulse into diced pieces.
COOK VEGGIES: Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to a large cast iron skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, garlic, carrot, and bell pepper. Sauté for 6-8 minutes or until liquid from the veggies has evaporated and veggies are mostly tender. Using a wooden spoon, press the veggies to the edges of the skillet and add 1 pound ground beef in the center of the pan. Let stand for 45 seconds in the heat and then stir and crumble the meat into small pieces. Cook until no longer pink and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. As you crumble and cook the meat, incorporate the veggies into the meat.
SAUCE: Add the 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1 can crushed tomatoes. Stir for 2-3 minutes to bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes. Add the 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar (See Note 1), 1 teaspoon ground mustard/mustard powder, 2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir well and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer the mixture until sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Prepare the buns while the sauce is cooking. Once thickened, stir in the 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar if desired. Season sauce if needed.
FINISH: Remove the skillet from the heat. Spoon the mixture on top of toasted buns (See Note 2) and enjoy immediately.