There are hundreds of versions of this recipe, but this one is my favorite.
1-1/4 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup grated carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery (I substituted 1/2 tsp. celery seed)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, pureed
1 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Salt the bottom of a large saute pan (about 1/2 tsp.) Heat the pan on high. Crumble the ground beef into the pan. Let it cook until it is well browned on one side, then flip the pieces over and brown the second side. Brown the beef until all the water evaporates. Then the beef will begin to brown and add extra flavor to your Sloppy Joes!
If you are using extra lean beef, you will not have much excess fat in the pan. If there is excess fat, strain off all but one Tablespoon. Add the carrots, onions and garlic and cook until slightly softened, about 5-6 minutes.
Add the ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar and brown sugar to the pan. Stir to mix well. Add cloves and cayenne pepper. Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer 20-25 minutes to blend flavors and thicken the mixture. Adjust with salt and pepper.