Sugar and Spice Sliders

This is a very different take on a loose meat sandwich. If you have been buying canned sloppy joe mix or using that old chicken gumbo recipe – just pick up a couple extra spices instead and give this one a try.  It makes a lot so be sure to serve it when the whole family is home.
A couple tips to make this easy.  If using real jalapeno peppers instead of canned be careful!  You must use gloves! And if you are tearing up from chopping the onion at the same time – do not rub your eyes!  I give you this warning from having made this mistake myself with Fooled You peppers out of my garden.  They are not as hot as jalapeno but they still have enough punch to take your eye out!
You can buy minced garlic packed in oil.  I find mine in the produce section by the garlic cloves.
This calls for unsweetened cocoa and as I mentioned in an earlier post I always use Ghirardelli.
This calls for a pinch of cloves.  I have a pinch measuring spoon. A little set I picked up at an Amish country store in Missouri while traveling.  If you do not have a small set that includes a measuring spoon for pinch it would be about a half of an 1/8 teaspoon.
And – if you have not seen this tomato paste product yet it is one to get.  Seems a lot of recipes I have call for just a bit of tomato paste. But then what do you do with what is leftover in the can?  Well – you can freeze what is left in the can in an ice cube tray and then pop it out and put in freezer bag to use later in another recipe.  Or you can buy this product that I ran across about a year ago.  This makes using just a bit of tomato paste easy.  I’ve seen this in every grocery store so you should be able to find it too.  I love it and always have it on hand.
Also – this calls for 1 c chicken stock and 1 c tomato sauce but if you like yours thicker you could easily omit the chicken stock and just use a full can of tomato sauce then just add water to thin to desired consistency.  Less waste!
This calls for slider size buns which are smaller than traditional hamburger buns but I use Light Italian Village Hearth just like I used for the Skinny Mac recipe and in that video.
Lastly, this calls for ground beef but you can use turkey – or I used buffalo when I made it for this photo as that is what I had on hand in the freezer.  Click here to learn more about buffalo as a leaner alternative to beef.

Sugar and Spice Sliders
2 lbs ground beef
1 jalapeno pepper diced
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic freshly chopped (or 4 t of prepared minced garlic packed in oil)
salt and pepper seasoned to taste
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 c chicken stock
1 c tomato sauce
1 can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
Slider buns (smaller hamburger buns) of choice -
Toppings can include diced green or red onion, shredded cheese of choice (I used a mix of shredded cheddar and pepperjack), fresh cilantro and/or parsley, jalapeno slices.
Brown meat in skillet on medium heat.  Add onion, jalapeno and cook until softened.  Drain meat. Season with salt and pepper.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant (not long as garlic burns easily).  Add chili powder, cocoa, paprika, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and oregano shirring to release flavors.  Add tomato paste, brown sugar and Worcestershire stirring for a minute before adding chicken stock and tomato sauce. Add kidney beans then let simmer until thickened.  Serve on bun with favorite toppings.
This would also work as a topping for spaghetti or to top off a hotdog Chicago dog style.  Could also be served as a chili with cornbread.

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