In this week’s Market Watch, Salty Tart baker/owner Michelle Gayer laments the end of burgers-on-the-grill season, although we do point out that her fantastic brioche-like sandwich bun also shines as a component in sloppy Joes.

I’ve been making this recipe since 2003, after interviewing comfort food cookbook author Marian Burros. I’ve tweaked it slightly over the years – I like more ground beef, celery and green pepper – and the results always garner many enthusiastic thumbs-up at our annual Halloween party.

It’s one recipe that actually tastes better the next day. I like to prepare an emergency batch that I can stick into the freezer (it freezes well for up to a month) and reheat when I need it. 


Serves 4 to 6.

Note: From "Cooking for Comfort" by Marian Burros (Simon & Schuster, $15.99).

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

3/4 c. finely chopped celery

3/4 large green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 large garlic cloved, peeled and minced

2 lb. ground beef

1 c. beer

1/4 c. Worchestershire sauce

1/2 c. ketchup

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

4 tsp. white vinegar

1/4 to 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Toasted rolls, such as hamburger buns


In a large skillet on medium-high heat, heat olive oil and sauté onion for about 3 minutes. Add celery and green pepper, and continuing sauteing until vegetables are soft and taking on color. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Push vegetables to side of pan and add beef, breaking it up with a fork until meat is crumbled. Cook until meat is cooked through and no pink remains. Add beer, Worchestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, vinegar and hot pepper sauce. Stir, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until flavors are blended and liquid is slightly reduced. Season with salt and pepper and serve on rolls as open or closed sandwiches.

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