- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 6 to 8 hamburger buns, split and toasted
- Stiff spatula or wooden spoon
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Large cast iron or regular skillet
- Brown the beef. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef and cook, breaking it into large pieces with a stiff spatula, until browned and cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the browned beef to a plate; set aside.
- Cook the aromatics and spices. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic, and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly; add the chili powder, paprika, and salt; and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the liquids and return the beef to the pan. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, and mustard and stir to combine. Return the reserved beef to the pan.
- Mash the beef with a potato masher. Use a potato masher to mash the beef into small pieces and incorporate it into the sauce.
- Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Taste, season, and serve. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. To serve, spoon onto the toasted buns.
Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.