1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 medium yellow onions
1 green bell pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, optional
6 hamburger buns, split
Grated jack or Cheddar cheese, for topping, optional
In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and garlic powder and set aside.
In another bowl, stir together the tomato sauce, ketchup, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce and set aside.
Chop the onions into 1/2 to 1/4-inch-wide pieces. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and ribs.
Chop the peppers into pieces about the same size as the onions. Set these aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the meat, breaking it up and spreading it around with a long-handled fork or wooden spoon. The meat will begin to lose its pinkness.
Drain the fat from the pan.
Add the brown sugar mixture and the onions and peppers and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to mix, until the vegetables soften. Stir in the tomato sauce mixture.
Flavor to taste with red pepper sauce, if desired.
Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until the sauce thickens. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and to make sure everything is well mixed.
Meanwhile, toast the buns under the broiler, on a grill, or in a toaster just until lightly browned. Lay the toasted buns on each of 6 plates.
Spoon the sloppy joes over the buns and serve topped with grated cheese, if desired.