Sweet-smoky-tangy flavors make this meal as appealing as it is...

Sweet-smoky-tangy flavors make this meal as appealing as it is fast and easy to get on the table. Credit: Marge Perry

I would make this dinner even if it had to cook an hour, because the flavor of the sweet-smoky-tangy meat, and the way it soaks all that lusciousness into the toast, is just so good. But all it takes is about 15 minutes to cook (in one skillet), plus a few minutes to chop the onion, garlic and bell pepper. (If you have zucchini on hand, dice it up to cook with the onion and bell peppers. You’ve added more vegetables and volume to the dish.)

In this version, it is served over a thick slice of toasted sourdough, but my crew loves it in baked (okay, microwaved) potatoes, and it’s also great over white or brown rice. This dish works really well with 93% lean ground beef (or turkey), which keeps it healthier and lower in calories.

Open Faced Smokey Joes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

½ green bell pepper, diced

½ red bell pepper, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 pound 93% lean ground beef

2/3 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

4 (1-inch thick) slices toasted sourdough bread

1. Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 - 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the meat and cook, breaking it into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes.

3. Stir in the ketchup, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce; cook until the mixture is slightly thickened and cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve over the toast.

Makes 4 servings